UBS, one of the largest overseas investors in Israeli securities, predicted on Wednesday a 15 percent rise in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange values by the end of the year.
UBS is the fourth large financial institution to publish a paper on the investment potential of the TASE this week, following Citicorp, Lehman Bros and Morgan Stanley. Of these, only Citicorp's was negative, and that only slightly.
TASE chairman Yair Orgler told a panel on foreign investments organized by The Jerusalem Post that during the first eight months of the year the net flow of overseas portfolio investments in Israel amounted to $2.02 billion, compared to $483 million in all of 2004 and $293 million in all of 2003.
Prof. Simon Benninga, dean of the Recanati Graduate School for Business Administration of Tel Aviv University, noted that the figures were doubly encouraging. "While in the past most of the investment money was not really investment money but rather sentimental money, since it came from Jews who wanted to help Israel, these days it is purely finance investors who want to make money."
Israel's stock exchange is really coming into its own, according to the panel.
Daniel Barak, another participant, commented that many Israeli companies whose shares were traded in both New York and Tel Aviv have come to the realization that there is no place like home.
"Next year we will see many new Israeli IPOs, and many if not most of these will be in Tel Aviv," he predicted.
The panel's discussion will be published in its entirety in a special Investments Supplement in The Jerusalem Post of Friday, October 14.