Nasdaq launches Israeli equity index [p. 15]

The Nasdaq stock market has launched the Nasdaq Israel Index, which will track the market performance of US-listed companies that are incorporated in Israel. "This index will serve as a powerful metric by which investors can track the performance of Israeli companies that have attained extraordinary achievements in areas as wide-ranging as manufacturing, agriculture, and high technology," said Nasdaq Executive Vice President John Jacobs. "The companies in this index have played a critical part in Israel's increasingly influential role in key sectors of the global economy." Nasdaq began disseminating the index on Friday counting more than Israeli companies, most of which are listed on the Nasdaq, including Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., Elbit Systems Ltd., Given Imaging Ltd., Audiocodes Ltd., Partner Communications, Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd., Blue-Square Israel Ltd. and Delta Galil Industries Inc. All of the 73 companies, which have a combined market capitalization of $50 billion, will be exposed to high visibility and access from the US to a large pool of investors worldwide as a result of the index, the Nasdaq said. The Nasdaq Israel Index is calculated using a modified market capitalization methodology. The index will be calculated and disseminated on a price return basis under Nasdaq ticker symbol "ISRQ" and a total return basis under the Nasdaq ticker symbol "ISRX." "The index highlights Nasdaq's 25 years of activity and commitment to the Israeli market", said Charlotte Crosswell, head of Nasdaq International. "We are confident that the index will further enhance the visibility of the Israeli companies among US and international investors as well as help investors from around the world look to invest in the Israeli economy." The Nasdaq Israeli index is the second "national" index on the exchange after the Nasdaq Canada index launched in 2000, which tracks the market performance of Canadian-listed Nasdaq stocks.