Has the Tel Aviv stock market got it right?

The main index of the Tel Aviv stock market (TASE) just keeps on shooting upwards. A 13% climb in the past month. And the trading volume is also up 10%.

Boom or bust? Well, I have always maintained that Israel would be well placed to emerge relatively well from the global recession. Reforms starting back in 1986 have created a sound structure, with no false mortgage market.

Another reason, somewhat cynically, is that as the recession emerged, Israel’s politicians found themselves engaged in a drawnout general election. No time for unimportant matters like saving (or tinkering with) the economy. That was left to Stanley Fisher, Governor of the Bank of Israel, a man trusted by the international community.

The results can be seen in today’s newspaper.

  • IKEA has 300 stores around the world. Its store in Netanya is one of the top 20 in terms of revenue. In July, it reported record takings at the tills!
  • In July, the number of people seeking unemployment benefit dropped 5%
  • Leonard Cohen, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys and others are all performing in Israel this summer. Sell out is an understatement. Despite the high price of tickets, extra shows are being laid on in some cases.

Is the recession over? No. Is the shekel overvalued? Yes. And many will say that the TASE is due for a small correction. However, something very positive is happening in Israel’s economy.

Let’s make sure that the politicians take an extended summer holiday.

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