Business Scene

The Beersheba Grand Canyon will cost NIS 550 million, and will be the largest shopping mall in the South.

Beersheba canyon 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Beersheba canyon 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
THERE ARE seven Israelis among the world's wealthiest people. Once one gets past the excitement of Warren Buffet outranking Bill Gates in the Forbes list of the world's billionaires, one starts to look for Israelis and other members of the tribe. There are lots of the latter. Sammy Ofer and family are the first Israelis listed, ranked No. 140 with an estimated worth of $6.7 billion. Steff Wertheimer, with $4.6b., is tied for No. 222 with Australian Jewish businessman Frank Loewy. Lev Leviev is No. 227 with $4.5b.; Shari Arison is No. 256 with $4.1b.; Benny Steinmetz is No. 296 with $3.6b.; Yitzhak Tshuva is No. 307 with $3.5b.; Kazakhstan businessman Alexander Machkevich, who lists his nationality as Israeli but doesn't live in Israel, is No. 334 with $3.3.; expatriate Israeli Arnon Milchan is No. 358 with $3.1b. Sheldon Adelson, the world's richest Jew, slipped from No. 6 last year to No. 12 this year with $26b. at his disposal. Last year he had $26.5b. KAMADA IS an Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company that develops and produces specialty life-saving bio-pharmaceuticals that are marketed in more than 15 countries. Several of the company's products are undergoing advanced stages of clinical trials. Last week it announced that it has signed a $4 million private equity investment agreement with Shavit Capital Fund, pending the approval of the audit committee, the board of directors and a general assembly to be held in March and April. TWO ISRAELI companies, Aran Research and Development and Nekuda DM Ltd., have been selected by Moshe Kapliski, CEO of Project Better Place, the electric car venture initiated by Shai Agassi, along with major investor The Israel Corporation, to design and develop, together with Eran Engineering, the recharging stations for pollution-free electric cars. The recharging stations are planned for installation in 2009, and there will be hundreds of them all over the country. It will be interesting to see what will happen to existing gas stations, and how long it will take for petrol pumps to become obsolete. Many gas stations - especially those in residential areas - are located on prime real estate property. But even those situated in industrial areas will probably make way for high-rise office buildings and apartment blocks. One only has to look at changes in the Ramat Gan skyline to realize the potential. Of course some gas stations may be converted to recharging stations, but that really depends on how amenable their owners are to change, and how quickly the electric car concept takes root. WILL PR guru Rani Rahav join the the Arkadi Gaydamak team of strategic advisers? Rahav is still mulling a proposal from Uri Shani, who was hired a few months ago by Gaydamak to oversee the Gaydamak Holdings Group. Rahav, if he accepts the offer, will be a strategic consultant to Shani rather than to Gaydamak, but he will occasionally be part of a think tank that will include Yossi Millstein, who is Gaydamak's closest advisor, and Osnat Elroi, who is the group's spokesperson. FORTY YEARS ago the Naot Midbar Hotel became the first hotel to be built in Beersheba. Last week it was demolished to make room for the Beersheba Grand Canyon. It is being built by the Lahav Group, which was founded by businessman Eli Lahav. The Beersheba Grand Canyon will cost NIS 550 million, and will be the largest shopping mall in the South. It is scheduled to open in 2011. THE NEWLY appointed director of the Haruv Institute, recently established by the Schusterman Foundation - Israel, is Prof. Hillel Schmid. The Haruv Institute seeks to become a leading international center for information, research and professional training in the field of child abuse in Israel. ETGAR MANAGEMENT Investment Portfolios, which belongs to the Mizrahi Tefahot Group, has announced the appointment of Ella Kantor Levi as its new CEO. She replaces Shlomi Ozmo, who has moved to Harel Recanati Investment House. Levi, 40, is married with two children and has a 15-year background in capital markets.