(photo credit: NIV ELIS)
Cukierman and Co. Investment House is in the advanced stages of establishing a
$200 million fund for investing in Israeli companies that will operate in China,
chairman Edouard Cukierman told The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
planting the seeds that will allow us to build the bridge from Israel to China,”
Despite heavily selling Israel’s “startup nation” brand, the
fund will invest solely in mature companies. Most of the money will come from
Chinese investors and traditional investors from the company’s Catalyst fund
investors, he said.
Cukierman spoke during the company’s “GoForIsrael2”
trip, which in association with the Foreign Ministry brought a high-level
delegation of business leaders from China to build ties in Israel. The event is
an offshoot of its “GoForEurope” series that sought deeper business connections
between Israel and Europe and is an indication it is starting to shift its
“We see the trend as more acquisitions from China than from Europe
or America,” Cukierman said. “It may take a decade, but that’s the obvious
Antony K. Leung, Blackstone’s chairman for greater China and a
member of the delegation, said, “China has the market; you have the
Cukierman initiated the GoForIsrael event at the insistence
of Ronnie Chan, the chairman of the Hang Lung Group, among the Hong Kong’s
largest real-estate developers.
Chan spoke Wednesday evening on an
economic panel at the Presidential Conference alongside outgoing Bank of Israel
Governor Stanley Fischer and former US treasury secretary Larry Summers. Israel
increasingly needed to look toward Asia, he said.
“How can you talk about
a tomorrow without Asia? Europe is important, America is important, but Asia is
increasingly important,” Chan said, citing a lack of Asians in attendance at the
Over the past 20 years, China lifted 600 million people out
of poverty and into the middle class, creating a new boom in demand for
products, Chan said. As that process continues and China goes forward with plans
to urbanize 250 million people by 2050, there will be extraordinary demand, both
by people and the government, for innovative technology, he said, adding, “China
loves Israel partly because of your technology.”
The picture is not
entirely rosy, Chan said, because the mobility and technological changes also
bring increased risks of social and political instability, though it is unclear
when or how it will surface.
“In the meantime, it’s gonna boom like
hell,” he said, adding that as a businessman, he can’t afford to miss that
Cukierman gave another reason that China can be an
attractive market for Israel as compared to Europe.
difficulty in selling Israel to Europe because of the geopolitical situation,”
he said. “I have never heard the issue raised once in China.”