Foreign investment in Israel increased by 67 percent in 2005 to a high of $9.7 billion from $5.8b. in 2004, reflecting the confidence of foreign investors in the Israeli market and economy. The latest figures published by the Bank of Israel on Sunday show that the most outstanding component in the increase was investment in shares traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which reached $2.1b.in 2005. "Foreign investors were the ones who moved the market up in Israel," said Benny Sharvit, head of research and global markets at Gaon Investments. Direct investment, however, still represented the main chunk of the increase, reaching $5.7b. for the year. Total investment in traded Israeli securities including stocks and bonds totaled $4.1b. Total foreign investment in December reached $648 million. Direct investment totaled $255m. and investment in traded securities stood at $393m. during the same month. Israeli institutional investors invested $128m. outside Israel in December, and $2.5b. during the year. In December the shekel appreciated by 1.25% against the dollar, and by 1% against the basket of currencies. The revaluation was in the first two weeks of the month.