'Financial crisis offers stock buying opportunity'

Local investment houses are encouraging investors to seek rare buying opportunities in the equity market.

stock market 1 88 224 (photo credit: )
stock market 1 88 224
(photo credit: )
As the financial crisis across global markets is continuing to take its toll, local investment houses are encouraging investors to seek rare buying opportunities in the equity market. "Now is a brilliant time to invest in stocks for those who can invest their money for the long-term," Psagot Ofek Investment House CEO Roy Vermus said Tuesday at the annual conference of investment consultants organized by The Marker in Tel Aviv. "It has been shown in the past that investors who entered the market in such difficult times generated very nice profits.We are at the peak of the pessimistic sentiment, and therefore I advise those who are already in the market to continue to hold on to stocks." In a similar vein, Eldad Tamir, president and joint-CEO at Tamir Fishman, said investors should see this crisis as an opportunity to build up a good portfolio. Also speaking at the conference, Ya'acov Weinstein, chief manager of investments at Migdal Capital Markets, outlined the investment house's forecast regarding the development of the financial crisis across global markets and investment opportunities. "US bank stocks will offer a historic and hysterical buying opportunity," he said. "Investors should not run and buy tomorrow, as they are still falling. But at the end of 2008, beginning of 2009, there will be great opportunities to buy these stocks at low prices. I believe that the S&P 500 Index will drop to 1,150 points or 1,100 points, the lowest point at which the market will stop and reverse." "Only at the end of 2008, there will be a balance between supply and demand of apartments, which will be the basis leading the way out of the crisis in the housing market," Weinstein said. Speaking about the dollar's worldwide weakness, he said the dollar in Israel would not appreciate, and therefore investors should put their money as much as possible outside the dollar. "Opportunities for investments into currencies are in the Chinese currency, the Malaysian currency and the Russian ruble," Weinstein said. "Russia has transformed into a powerful economy offering a fantastic investment opportunity." Similarly, Psagot Ofek's Vermus said investment into the foreign exchange market was too risky, since the price investors pay for getting it wrong is too high. Vered Dar, chief economist at Psagot Ofek Investment House, rebuffed recent talk about a global currency crisis. "It is not at all clear how or where the parameters of a currency crisis are determined," she said. "If the European Central Bank and other major central banks intervene in the currency market, similar to the intervention by the Bank of Israel, we might be facing a currency crisis."