Local recession to end in 2010 - survey

The appointment of Yuval Steinitz as finance minister failed to instill confidence in a majority of the respondents.

shekels good 88 (photo credit: )
shekels good 88
(photo credit: )
The Israeli economy will emerge out of the recession in 2010, but more layoffs will take place, according to a survey of capital-market analysts and investment houses. The appointment of Yuval Steinitz as finance minister failed to instill confidence in a majority of the respondents. Eighty-seven percent of analysts and investment managers active in the Israeli capital market said the recession would end in 2010, while 74% said the wave of layoffs was not over, the survey showed. The survey, which was conducted over the last few days and was based on a sample of 50 analysts and 50 investment houses and banks, was conducted as part of the Israel Analyst Forum by investor-relations firm Gelbart Kahana. About 53% of the respondents said the recession would end in the first half of next year, while 34% said it would end in the second half. Seventy percent said Steinitz was not the best choice to be in charge of the Treasury during this period. But 59% said they were confident the government could cope with the unemployment problem, while 91% put much faith in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's ability to successfully manage and lead the Treasury's policies. Sixty-six percent of the analysts said they were optimistic about the state of the Israeli capital market, while 34% said they were were pessimistic. The Tel Aviv-100 Index was estimated to rise by 10.4%, to 774 points, by the end of the year, according to the average forecast of 50 analysts. The US Nasdaq Composite Index was forecasted to reach 1,729 points, an increase of 5.5% compared with the current state of the index. The shekel-dollar exchange rate was estimated to be 4.23 in three months, similar to the current rate, according to the average forecast, and at the end of the year it was estimated to stand at 4.30. Asked whether the government should come to the rescue of tycoons, 76% of the respondents said no. In addition, 76% said executive salaries in Israel were not proportional to attained achievements of the companies. Asked to name the most successful and appreciated CEOs in the Israeli economy, the analysts chose Eli Yunes of Mizrahi Tefahot and Shlomo Yanai of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries in first place, followed by Shufersal's Effi Rosenhaus and Cellcom's Amos Shapira.