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Shari Arison may have gained full control of Hapoalim, but she can't rest on her laurels. The subprime loan crisis is taking its toll, and the bank has slid from its top position on Dun & Bradstreet's "strength" ranking to the third-strongest company in the Israeli economy. The bank displaced Teva in third place, which overtook Israel Chemicals to reach the top of the ranking.

D&B's 'strength' ranking takes into account four financial parameters: equity, net profit, operating income and market value. The ranking is based on data from financial reports in cases of publicly traded firms, and for private companies on available public data or information provided by the companies themselves.

Other eye-catching changes on the ranking this year include Africa Israel's leap from 16th place last year to 5th this year, right behind Bank Leumi. Africa Israel overtook Idan Ofer's Israel Corporation, Nochi Dankner's Discount Investments, and Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Group.

D&B CEO Reuven Kuvent said 2007 year-end data shows that the value of the 50 largest firms in Israel totaled NIS 598 billion, up 30% from last year. Income and profit figures were based on third-quarter data, before the sub-prime crisis left its mark on financial reports of the companies.

According to data from the first three quarters of 2007, collective revenues of the 50 biggest firms was NIS 381 billion, up 14% against the same period in 2006. Net profits totaled NIS 42 billion, up 68% increase versus the parallel.

The top 10 are Teva, Israel Chemicals, Hapoalim, Leumi, Africa Israel, Israel Corp, Discount Investments, Delek Group, IDB Development and Bezeq.