Vote of confidence in Israel and her economy

Unemployment jumps to 7.3%. Housing starts down. OECD marginally lowers growth forecast. Not the greatest series of economic news that Israel has seen in recent weeks.

And yet right beneath those one-off headline items is a major piece of commercial joy that bodes well for the future of the country. To paraphrase statements from Bill O’Neill, Merrill Lynch’s Wealth Management chief investment officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa; the Israeli economy is in good shape.

It is not just that growth of 3% still puts it towards the top of the OECD pack. Nor that unemployment is remains well below many other countries. And we can already see multinationals looking to invest in Israel’s new offshore gas reserves.

Look at the level of exits in Israel during 2012. This is one of the ways that large overseas financial players judge the strength of the country’s performance. In the previous peak year of 2006, the figure reached $10.1 billion. This year, at a time when money is supposed to be tight on the global scene, $9.3 bilion has already been counted up. (Figures released at an MIT seminar in Tel Aviv on Wednesday). Cisco’s purchase of NDS is responsible alone for $5 billion.

The story does not end there. This morning’s press reveals that  “NCR Corp, a supplier of automated-teller machines and payment systems, agreed to buy Retalix Ltd, Israel, for about $650 million, gaining software and services used in supermarkets.”

I wonder who else has yet to complete their Christmas shopping amongst the Holy Land’s high tech treasure trove.


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One Comment on “Vote of confidence in Israel and her economy”

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