david azrieli 248 courtesy.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
The Azrieli Group Ltd. made its debut on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Monday.
But the first trading day was less successful than expected and may have put a
damper on festivities held at the company’s flagship Azrieli Mall in the
By the end of the trading day, Azrieli Group had lost as much as 3.9
percent of its value, with shares falling to as low as NIS 80 at one
Earlier this month, Azrieli sold 21% of its shares at NIS 83.25
each, bringing in NIS 1.72 billion from private investors and another NIS 300
million from the public.
The company was not listed on the benchmark Tel
Aviv 25 Index as it had hoped. The TA- 25 lists the exchange’s 25 largest stocks
by market capitalization.
To mark the occasion, David Azrieli, Azrieli
Group’s 88-yearold Canadian-Israeli founder and chairman, Azriel Group general
manager Menachem Einan and TASE officials rang the opening bell of the trading
day during the ceremony at the Azrieli Mall.
“In difficult times we
managed to join the Tel Aviv 100 Index,” Einan said. “But in different times we
would have surely entered the Tel Aviv 25.” Azrieli has a “great number of
projects planned, totaling some NIS 1.5 billion,” he said.
Group owns shopping centers, commercial centers and office parks in Israel, the
public holding company Granit Carmel, 5% of Bank Leumi and 20% of Leumi
It plans to open two new malls, in Acre and Kiryat Ata, and to build
a second floor at Ramat Gan’s Ayalon Mall, the nation’s first shopping mall,
which Azrieli opened in 1986.
The group also plans to build a shopping
center and office tower in Rishon Lezion and a hi-tech center in
Political fallout from the IDF raid on the Gaza flotilla last week
might have deterred some foreign investors from participating in the
initial public offering, Azrieli told reporters Monday. However, he said
optimistic about the local financial market.
“The State of Israel
very well in comparison to other countries, and that will continue,”
said. “The state will continue to bloom and grow, and the financial
do the same along with the state.” Azrieli said a bubble did not exist
commercial realestate market.
“Look at the history of our
said. “We have grown during every time of crisis.
A bubble here
bubble there does not affect us. In commercial real estate I don’t see a
and there is still much for us and other companies to do.” Azrieli said
didn’t plan to buy a controlling interest in Bank Leumi.
issue of high salaries for business executives in Israel, he said: “This
argument has received a great deal of headlines and people are taking
it. I don’t want to express an opinion.”
Asked what he believed
the future holds
for his company, Azrieli said: “There is a very good answer in English:
the same. We have done very well until now; we are an excellent company.
at our disposal not only the funds necessary but also the team to do the
Azrieli said he didn’t believe the global recession would threaten the
“We have done our best during global recessions,
have always prepared for them,” he said. “Each leap forward we’ve had,
during a time of recession. The global recession also offers
invest, to buy, and to make money from it.”
Asked whether the
could support more large retail centers, Azrieli said: “Of course, good
only good ones. The bad ones will fall by the wayside.”
net worth is
listed by Forbes magazine at over $2b., and his Azrieli Foundation
litany of philanthropic endeavors.