Bloomberg Says Invest in Israel

February 20, 2012  

The war talk about Iran is nothing new for Israel, under threats since its existence, reports Bloomberg News, which notes that the return on stocks in Israel the past 10 years was the highest of 24 benchmark indices in developed nations, including China and Norway, after taking factoring out volatility.

“The country is surrounded by enemies, it’s always on the edge of extinction, but it expands and prospers,” retired hedge fund manager,” Michael Steinhardt told the business news agency.

Investors know that the past is no guarantee for the future, but Bloomberg noted that the Finance Ministry projects a 3.2 percent growth in gross domestic product this year, nearly three times the average for the “Group of 10” developed countries.

U.S.-based companies still have an appetite for Israel. IBM announced two weeks ago it is buying up Israel’s Worklight company, which provides mobile application platforms for smartphones and tablets.

Earlier this year, Apple said it is buying Anovbit technologies, an Israeli firm that makes flash memory parts for iPhone and IPad.

Warren Buffet, who paid $4 billion several years ago for an Israel metal tools company, has quipped, “If you go to the Middle East and you’re looking for oil, skip [Israel]. If you’re going looking for brains, just stop at Israel. You don’t have to go anyplace else.”

The public fears repercussions of a war with Iran, but Bloomberg pointed out that the Tel Aviv stock market outperformed others even during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and the three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza in mid-winter of 2008-2009.

“It will take a lot more than a simple military action to keep the stock exchange from working,” Gilad Alper, a Tel Aviv analyst said. “The last full-scale war that we had here that involved huge parts of the economy was in 1973. Since then, everything has been relatively small.”

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