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A choking credit crunch from the banks, together with a rising capital market that has sent bond yields sharply down, has brought about a true blooming of stock issues on the local exchange. In each of the past three weeks, there have been at least five new issues.

Thursday set a new record with four new issues in one day - two public and two private. The issues managed to raise more than NIS 500 million collectively, although demand for the sales broke the NIS 1 billion barrier.

In the past three months, companies have raised some NIS 3.5 billion on the capital market, not including another NIS 1 billion from sales of share bundles in Bezeq, Israel Discount Bank and IDB Holdings.

While earlier this year only the major players - like IDB Holding Corporation, Delek, and Electra - would have raised funds through the capital market, nowadays companies on the second tier, if not the third, have taken their chances, too.

Underwriters estimate that at least 60 percent of companies listed on the Tel Aviv 100 index have begun the issue process, with others not listed among the great (or good) also planning public note issues.

Thursday, Gadot Chemical Tankers & Terminals successfully launched its first issue, raising NIS 80 million in stocks and bonds. Israel Lands Development Insurance raised NIS 25 million in its public offering, Kardan managed NIS 100 million and Shikun Ovdim boasted a NIS 300 million take-up.

Angel, Mekorot and Habas will be joining the crowd with their issues next week.