The day Israel’s stock exchange joined the big league

Thursday 27th May is the Tel Aviv stock market’s (TASE) first day of trading under the highest classification of the global MSCI. Although a tiny percentage of the pool, TASE is now in the same league as London, New York, Paris et al. Congrats.

As part of the “warm up” to the big day, Wednesday’s trading was TASE’s largest ever day for turnover. An average day sees vloume of around 2+b nis (US$0.55b). The highest previous record was in December 2007 with 5.4b nis. Yesterday’s level hit 16.4b nis, approx 8 times a normal day’s activity…until now.

Teva, Israel Chemicals, the telecom sector – many of the blue chips saw high volatility. And despite the specially extended trading hours, some of the orders will only be placed on Thursday due to the backlog.

TASE ended up on the day, although it cannot be taken for granted that the gains will be secured over the next few days. Europe’s financial instability threatens the Middle East as much as any other region. Despite reaching a new record high since the credit crunch, the index is 10% of its peak.

The question is why the rush into Israel? And the answer remains that Israel’s economy is performing well. New gas reserves will fundamentally change the country’s balance of payments over the next few years. Cleantech r&d plays an increasing part in the economy and for exports. Israel has just entered the OECD club, which will spark a new round of foreign investment.

Mazaltov to TASE!

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