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Israel: World’s Safest Place to Invest

You need more shekels to buy a dollar following Fischer's surprise cut in the interest rate and announcement of a massive purchase of dollars.

You need more shekels to buy a dollar following Fischer's surprise cut in the interest rate and announcement of a massive purchase of dollars.
Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90

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Israel is the most likely country in the developed world to provide riskless returns on investments, according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Despite  a month-long war with Hizbullah in 2006, Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in 2008, existential threats from a pre-nuclear Iran, international and regional pressures, and internal socio-political and land turmoil, the Tel Aviv TA-25 Index returned 7.6 percent in the past decade, the highest amount of any of the 24 developed-nation benchmark indexes.  The next best index was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, followed by Norway’s OBX.

The past 10 years saw investments by US investment tycoon Warren Buffett, Apple, International Business Machines Corp, Intel, and others.

The Israeli gauge returned 161 percent including dividends over the last decade, according to Bloomberg, coming behind Norway and Hong Kong.  But it was considered significantly more stable than either.

Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, is credited with much of the Israeli economy’s growth and stability.  Fischer is serving his second term, and has been a proponent of buying large amounts of foreign currency in an effort to help exports, which account for 40 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product.

Israel’s economy expanded approximately 4.8 percent in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund, compared with 1.7 percent growth for the U.S.

Finance Ministry projections show Israel’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 3.2 percent in 2012, almost three  times the 1.2 percent average for the Group of 10 countries.

This year, the TA-25 had its best early part of the year since 1997, with a 3.1 percent rally in January, according to Bloomberg.  Teva pharmaceuticals and Dead Sea harvester Israel Chemicals comprise over 20 percent of the TA-25, but earn less than 6 percent of their revenues in Israel.

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About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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One Response to “Israel: World’s Safest Place to Invest”

  1. Simcha says:

    The government of Israel is only interested in exporting its best quality products to other countries while leaving the worst quality products for its own citizens. As one who resides in Israel, I prefer to purchase products in the USA due to the fact that the quality is much better whether it is made in the USA or imported. Also, the products purchased in Israel are taxed very high including a VAT (value added tax, 16 percent) which includes all products except for fruit and vegetables and postage stamps, a purchase tax on many products, and a very high import tax. In the USA, there is only a state sales tax and a very low import tax and many items are not even taxed at all depending on the state unlike Israel where the whole country is the same. Also, most products made in Israel are exported to other countries while most products purchased in Israel are made elsewhere due to the fact that the government of Israel only cares about doing business with other countries but does NOT care about its own citizens. Most products purchased in Israel with an Israeli company label are NOT truly made in Israel but are imported from other countries especially enemy countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and Germany. Just read the labels!!!

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