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(photo credit: TASE)
The country's five largest real estate companies invested a combined $12 billion in projects around the world last year, representing a 33 percent increase from 2005, while raising their total equity 63% to $2.5b, according to the results of a survey conducted by Dun & Bradstreet Israel that ranked Gazit Globe Ltd. as the country's top real estate company in 2006.
"More and more [real estate] companies are realizing the potential for profit both in Israel and around the world," noted the financial information services company's report. "By adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards, it has allowed them to increase their activities in locations where they hadn't been able to before adopting the new standards."
In addition to measuring a company's investments and equity, D&B also based its rankings on the total income earned by the company in 2006.
Gazit came out at the top of the list with investments of $5.2b., which were 17% above 2005, as it also posted significant growth in earnings, pulling in $573 million, and raising its equity 50% to $643m.
In second place, was Jerusalem Economic Corp., which invested some $3.4b. in real estate development projects last year, representing growth of 40% above 2005, while increasing its overall income to $308m. and its total equity to $910m., representing growth of 73% from 2005 and top among Israel's real estate companies.
Delek Real Estate followed in third place on the strength of its $1.3b. worth of investments in real estate projects last year, more than 58.1% above what the company earmarked towards new projects in 2005. Delek's income hit $225m. in 2006 and its equity grew 113% to $334m.
Aloni Hetz Properties and Investments, with $1.1b. in investments, $141m. in income (a rise of 160% from 2005) and total equity of $295m., was placed fourth, while Electra Real Estate Ltd. with $1b. in investments, $149m. in income and $273m. in equity, rounded out the top five.
Also appearing in the top 10 was the Airport City Company, with investments in real estate projects of $941m.; the Company of Investments and Building, with $896m. in investments; Durban Investments, with $743m. in investments; Arazim Investments, with $737m. in investments; and Boymelgreen Capital, with $702m. in investments.
D&B also reported that, overall, 2006 was a very good year for all of the real estate companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
"The Real Estate-15 index, an index of the 15 largest real estate companies in Israel, rose 66%, while 33 publicly traded real estate companies raised a combined NIS 3b. in shares and an additional 42 real estate companies raised NIS 10b. in bonds," the report noted.