The combined assets of Israel's 40 leading holding companies jumped 20% to NIS 300 billion in 2005, research company Business Data Israel (BDI) said Monday as Nochi Dankner's IDB Holdings ended the year as the country's largest company.
Eyal Yanay, co-CEO of BDI, cited a combination of strong world markets and a trend of holding companies aggressively expanding in Israel as contributing to the surge in asset values.
IDB, with total assets of NIS 78.8b., overtook FIBI Holdings for the top spot, rounding off a significant year for Dankner in which his other companies also climbed the ranks as a result of major acquisitions made during the year. IDB subsidiary Discount Investment Corporation, which in 2005 upped its stake in Cellcom and bought out supermarket chain Clubmarket, climbed two places to fourth on the list, while other IDB companies Clal Industries and Investments moved from 14th to 11th place and Azorim ranking as the 18th largest company last year.
FIBI Holdings, with assets valued at NIS 72.1b., slipped to second place while Israel Corporation (NIS 25.8b. in assets), controlled by the Ofir Brothers, Discount Investment Corp. (NIS 21.6b.) and Yitschak Tshuva's Delek Group (NIS 15.9b.) completed the top five.
The biggest mover saw El Al parent company Knafaim Holdings, controlled by the Borovich family, increase its portfolio by 364% to NIS 9.1b., allowing it to climb to eighth place on the table from 20th in 2004.
Of the losers, Koor Industries saw its ranking slip to 15 in 2005 from the fourth spot in 2004, with assets of NIS 5.2b.
Avi Krawitz contributed to this report