'TA Stock Exchange strike damaging share values'

Traders are disconnecting themselves from the activities of US markets, capital market analyst says.

stock exchange 224 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
stock exchange 224
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
The strike at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is causing significant damage to stock values, as traders disconnect themselves from the activities of US markets, a capital market analyst told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. Earlier this month, the Histadrut Labor Federation declared a labor dispute due to the large number of Exchange workers employed through personal contracts, meaning that they could not become members of the union. According to the striking traders, about 40 percent of the workers are not union members, compared to 10% in 1998. "We won't accept this assault on unionization in the heart of capitalism," a spokesman declared last week. The result has been a daily walkout from the Exchange, leading to half-days of trading, capital market analyst Prof. Rafi Eldor of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, told the Post. "Usually there are eight to nine hours of trading a day. Traders are now starting work at 9:45 a.m. and go home at 4:15 p.m.," Eldor said. "Stocks are losing value because information from American markets arrives in Israel only from 3:15 p.m. onward, by which time the Exchange has been closed," he said. "People are being prevented from making decisions based on what is going on elsewhere in the world." Information of the possible future direction of the market helps determine a stock's value, Eldor said, adding that by cutting themselves off from the US trading day, the striking traders were causing local stocks to lose value. Eldor has conducted a study of the difference in value between traded and non-traded stocks, a survey that could help indicate the extent of the damages caused by the strike. He found that traded stocks were worth 20% more than their non-traded counterparts. "Now, these stocks are being traded for half a day, so they're somewhere in the middle of traded and non-traded stocks," he said. The TASE strike has not, however, played a part in the continuous crash in the dollar's value, Eldor said, because the dollar is being traded through the banking system, which is not on strike.