Business in Brief

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New bond index launched

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange unveiled its tenth bond index yesterday – an index of of bonds with variable interest rates. The new addition, which is set to launch on November 2, will include 16 corporate bonds bearing variable interest that are not tied to inflation rates, at a total market capitalization of NIS 13 billion. All are already listed in the general Tel Bond index. The TASE explained the new index was intended to promote demand for bonds with variable interest, which remains relatively low. (Dror Reich)

Moody’s keeps Israel debt rating at A1

Rating company Moody’s confirmed Israel’s sovereign debt rating at A1 on Monday night, citing the country’s strong growth model and efficient government. The report noted that the key to the Israeli economy’s dynamic nature is high-tech exports, industry with an educated, relatively young work force and a relatively high degree of investment in research and development. However, the report noted that economic growth began slowing this year, primarily due to the shekel’s sharp appreciation, which damaged exports. Moody’s anticipates that Israel’s economy will start recovering next year due to the Bank of Israel’s expansionary monetary policy and the weakening shekel. The Moody’s announcement comes a week after the world’s largest rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, stated it was leaving Israel’s sovereign debt rating unchanged at A+. (Ronit Domke)

TASE ends down

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished yesterday’s trading session with losses on most of the major indexes. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index lost 0.55% to close at 1,451 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index closed down 0.6% at 1,298 points. Bank shares lost 0.5%, while biomed shares dropped 1.4%, pulled downward by Opko Health, which fell 12%, and Insuline Medical, down 6.4%. Total turnover was NIS 1.03 billion. (Dror Reich)