Index grades analyst performance [p. 17]

Financial data services provider Praedicta has launched Israel's first rating system to follow the performance of market analysts, ranking them in terms of both accuracy and yields. "Setting up an index that examines the quality of recommendations of analysts and information used in the management of investment portfolios has become an indispensable tool in the capital markets," Miri Ben-Yehoshua, co-CEO of Praedicta said Monday. "There is no doubt that the ranking will make a significant contribution to the capital markets and for other users in Israel." The grading will be based on calculations that take into account the recommendations data and target prices made by analysts. The final grading will not reflect analysts who cover one stock only but will include 450 recommendations from 60 analysts to produce two indexes, Praedicta said. The "accuracy index" will examine the accuracy of analyst's recommendations according to the gap between the analyst's stated target price and the maximal market price over a 12-month period, while the "yield index" will put to test the recommendations of analysts to an investment portfolio as a measure of gains made in relevant sectors. Each analyst will be given a star rating of performance with five stars being the highest and one star the lowest. The first ranking on the accuracy Index, released Monday, took into account recommendations given between November 2004 and October 2005, and actual prices achieved during the following 12 months. Citibank's Alexander Henderson emerged as the top analyst covering Israeli shares followed by Rami Rosen from Oscar Gruss & Sons, Idan Dolev of Bank Hapoalim, Eyal Hevroni at Psagot Ofek, Richard Gussow from Excellence Nessuah and Joseph Wolf at UBS, all of whom received five stars. The yield index, which ranked recommendation given between April 2005 and March 2006 and the performance of the shares in the three months following the recommendation, listed Richard Church from C.E. Unterberg Towbin as the top analyst for the period. Bank Hapoalim's Yaron Friedman, in second, was followed by Marcus Kopperschmidt from Lehman Brothers, Rosen and Roni Biran of Oscar Gruss and Excellence Nessuah's Yaron Zar. All achieved returns worthy of a five-star rating. The rankings will be publicized every quarter, Praedicta said.