Poalim Capital Markets, the entryway to Israeli business

CEO of Poalim Capital Markets says outside interest in the Israeli market is as strong as ever, from the US, UK.

poalim 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
poalim 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Amir Aviv, the CEO of Poalim Capital Markets, Bank Hapoalim’s investment banking arm, sees the firm as the entry point to the Israeli market.
“We’ve tried to position ourselves as a gateway to and from Israel for companies that want to sell themselves outside Israel and investors that want to come in,” he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
According to Aviv, who has been with the group for 10 of the 23 years the investment bank has been around, outside interest in the Israeli market is as strong as ever, both from the US, where PCM has a New York office, and from London.
“I’m seeing more and more overseas interest in Israel,” he said. “It presents an interesting opportunity.”
Interest used to be more focused on the hi-tech sector, Aviv said. But Israeli exporters have been attracting more foreign attention, including companies that play mostly within the Israeli domestic market, he said.
Part of that is the result of a quickly professionalizing class of Israeli managers, who have benefited from exposure to international corporations and business dealings, Aviv said.
“The management teams are much more experienced today...
and investors feel comfortable investing with them,” he said.
Asked what sort of companies catch his eye, Aviv said: “When we invest, we’re looking for more mature situations. We like to see cash-flow, we like to see tangible assets. But in technology we invest in the early stage – those are technologies we like to adopt.”
Among its most interesting funds in recent years are public- private partnerships that invest in Israeli infrastructure, such as highways, light-rail projects and urban renewal projects.
Although 95 percent of the funds were raised from domestic investors, their profitability will make them attractive to foreign investors as well, Aviv said.
But PCM is also looking outward.
It has a Beijing branch, Poalim Asia Direct, and a cooperation agreement with YES BANK in India, he said.
This article was produced in conjunction with Bank Hapoalim.