Israel an emerging 'safe haven'

The TA-25 index meanwhile, having edged the 900 benchmark level on May 8, has since dropped to 870 at close of trade Tuesday, slightly above the level it was at the beginning of the month.

By AVI KRAWITZ
May 24, 2006 06:44
1 minute read.
girl piggybank invest 88

girl piggybank invest 88. (photo credit: )

 
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As emerging markets experience their steepest slide in eight years, investment bank Deutsche Bank this week singled out Israel as one of two "safe havens" for investors looking to put their money in developing countries' exchanges. "For those with very strong risk aversion, the low beta markets with little commodity exposure are Israel and Malaysia. They are your safe haven," Kingsmill Bond, emerging markets strategist at Deutsche Bank said in a research report. Bond told The Jerusalem Post it was an accepted fact that Israel was a low volatility market compared to other emerging markets due to it not being subject to currency, commodity or interest rate spread concerns. "Essentially Israel has a much more developed market type of environment," he said. Emerging markets have lost 14 percent since their peak two weeks ago with Turkey, Argentina, South Africa and Russia listed by Bond as the worst performers for the period. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Markets Index, which tracks shares in 26 developing countries globally, rose 2.3% to 767.15 during afternoon trade in London on Tuesday, on track to break the longest losing streak the index has had in eight years. The measure had experienced 10 straight days of losses. The sell-off in emerging markets, according to Bond, came as a result of higher than expected US inflation data combined with slightly weaker US growth numbers. "Investors are concerned that the Fed will be obliged to tighten by more and that in turn this will damage US growth," he said. "Weaker US growth will lead to weaker commodity prices and rising spreads between emerging market bonds and US treasuries, which are the two key drivers of emerging markets." The TA-25 index meanwhile, having edged the 900 benchmark level on May 8, has since dropped to 870 at close of trade Tuesday, slightly above the level it was at the beginning of the month. While Bond has a rating of "underweight" for Israel, he listed it among the countries in which buying opportunities are likely to materialize, and which do not have major macroeconomic vulnerabilities. He added that the investment house was reconsidering the rating "as long as internal economic growth continued." Earlier this week, the Finance Ministry raised its growth forecasts for the year from 4.1% to 5.3%.

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