Tel Aviv Technology Stocks Beat Nasdaq, Gain 87% in 12 Months

The Tel-Tech 15 index has gone up 87 percent during the last 12 months and yesterday reached an all-time high of 306 points. The index, which includes the 15 largest technology companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, was only launched in July 2001, after the big slide on Nasdaq and on other markets; the figures are nevertheless impressive.

The index started at 270 points, and at the end of 2002 slid to 160. Over the last 12 months the Tel-Tech jumped 87 percent, and only yesterday gained another 2 percent, having logged an increase of 20 percent since the beginning of August. This level is still 60 percent below that which it would have reached had it started out in March 2000 like its big brother, the Tel-Tech, which includes all traded technology stocks.

The stock with the poorest performance on the Tel-Tech 15 is actually that of the biggest and most esteemed company, Elbit Systems. Manufacturing mainly military systems, Elbit has also won most of the public's investments through provident funds, mutual funds and insurance companies. Elbit, which is now traded on the same index with stocks that skyrocketed 60-450 percent in the last 12 months, only rose by 9 percent over the period. Without Elbit - whose weight in the index is 9.5 percent, the maximum allowed - the index would have gone up even more. Even Tower Semiconductor posted better results - 11 percent.

Compugen went up 450 percent over the year, Audiocodes climbed 418 percent, Alvarion 293 percent, Metalink 184 percent, Nice Systems 126 percnet, Scitex Corporation 122 percent, Retalix 88 percent, Lipman Electronics Engineering 78 percent and Tadiran Communications 78 percent. Together, they pulled the index to heights that even the Nasdaq - which went up 75 percent over the period - could pride itself on.

In fact, the rise in Alvarion's value, which yesterday crossed the NIS 2 billion mark, brings the stock nearer to entering the Tel Aviv 25 blue chip index. In two months, when the index is updated, Alvarion, whose market cap is already higher than Supersol's, might take Elco Holdings' place on the most important index on the TASE.