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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Globes’

EU Now Includes City in Pre-1967 Israeli Territory in ‘Forbidden Zone’

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

An EU directive will impose customs duty on products made in the cities of Modiin and Maccabim-Reut, because they are built on what was considered no-man’s land between 1949 and 1967. The directive also applies to good produced in eastern Jerusalem, according to Globes.

As of Monday, the EU will no longer recognize products originating beyond the “green line” – the armistice line of 1949 – as made in Israel, and those products are now liable to customs duty.

Any company exporting goods from Israel to Europe must now declare the location where the goods were manufactured, and if they originate beyond the 1949 armistice line, they may not receive the benefits of duty-free status under the 1995 EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

In addition to the two towns whose land has been part of Israel proper throughout its existence, the EU directive will affect companies operating in Ariel, Barkan, Emmanuel, Givat Zeev, Itamar, Oranit, Shaarei Tikva, and Yitzhar in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Alonei Bashan, Ein Zivan, Katzrin, Marom Hagolan, Majdel Shams, and Neve Atid on the Golan Heights, which was legally annexed by the Knesset on December 14, 1981.

Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute chairman Ramzi Gabbay told Globes that there were few exports from Modiin and Maccabim-Reut, but, “The government should make every effort to remove this from the agenda to prevent creating a precedent.”

The new EU directive could mean an end to the ability of many Israeli made products to compete in the European market. But Arutz 7 quotes some Israeli manufacturers in Judea and Samaria who are welcoming the distinction between their region and 1948-1967 Israel, claiming that the “made in the settlements” labels actually boost sales.

 

UPDATE: The EU has clarified that they only see part of Modiin (Maccabim-Reut) as an illegal settlement, not the entire city.

Is Sheldon Adelson Destroying Israel’s Newspapers?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

According to the Israeli financial website Globes, Sheldon Adelson is in advanced negotiations to purchase the Ha’aretz printing plant. The deal is believed to be in the order of $25 million dollars.

Over the past few months, Adelson’s free daily, Yisrael Hayom, has been searching for a new printing facility to replace the Ha’aretz plant where it currently prints its daily freesheet. Ha’aretz’s plant handles the printing for a number of different newspapers.

Adelson had recently been in negotiations with Nochi Dankner, a major shareholder and chairman of publicly traded IDB Group, Israel’s largest diversified business group with assets of more than $30 billion, to purchase Ma’ariv’s Levin Epstein Printing House. But that deal apparently fell through, striking a hard blow for Ma’ariv which is desperately strapped for cash. Ma’ariv has been looking to sell the printing plant and the land it sits on.

Many Israeli newspapers have been firing staff and “streamlining” these past few months. The right-wing Makor Rishon is one notable exception to the rule.

Globes reports that Ha’aretz announced it was firing 70 employees, some 32 from their own paper, and the rest from their financial daily, The Marker. Yediot Achronot will be firing dozens, many of them likely to be dropped from its website Ynet. Ma’ariv recently shut down its weekday print run, and fired 30 employees in June.

Yediot executives are blaming Adelson and Yisrael Hayom for destroying the Israeli newspaper industry, and more specifically, for destroying Ha’aretz and Yediot Achronot with the introduction of the free daily broadsheet.

Yoram Ettinger: Israel’s Economic Culture Praised Despite Global Financial Gloom

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

While the global economy deteriorates and its ripple effects erode Israel’s economic indicators (e.g., unemployment increased to 7%), there is cause for optimism in the Holy Land:

–Frans Van Houten, the CEO of the Dutch giant, Philips Global recently told Globes Business Daily (Aug. 2, 2012): “Israel’s economic and organizational culture is consistent with Philips’ requirements…. Philips owes part of its enhanced performance [2nd quarter’s earnings – 17% above projections] to Israel’s excellent engineers in the imaging, data processing and data storage areas.  Philips has expanded its Israeli presence and acquisitions since 1999, when it acquired part of Israel’s Elscint, then Israel’s CDP and CDC…. Philips will expand its current 600 employee research & development center.”

–Marcos Battisti, head of Intel Capital in Europe and Israel, hired additional investment directors in Israel, expanding Intel’s pursuit of Israeli start ups.  Since 1991, Intel Capital invested in 60 Israeli companies, collaborating with Intel’s four research & development centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel (Globes, July 26).

–Israel’s Kayak raised $91MN in a Wall Street IPO led by Morgan Stanley (Globes, July 23).  Abingworth Ventures, 7 MedHealth Ventures, Arch Ventures, MPM Capital and F3 invested $38MN in a round of private placement by Israel’s Chiasma (Globes, July 24).  Battery Ventures and Bessemer Ventures led a $12MN round of private placement by Israel’s Vayyar Imaging (Globes, Aug. 3).

–Is Israel a future energy superpower?  Walter Russell Mead, Editor at-large of the Washington, DC-based bimonthly magazine The American Interest, which specializes in global economy and international affairs, July 2, 2012: “Canada and Russia are moving to step up energy relations with Israel….Israel and Canada have just signed an agreement to cooperate on the exploration and development of what could be vast shale oil reserves beneath the Jewish State…. The Russian Gazprom and Israel have announced plans to cooperate on gas extraction…. Drillers working in Israeli waters have already identified what seems to be 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, in addition to over a trillion cubic feet of gas. Israel’s undersea gas reserves are currently estimated at about 16 trillion cubic feet and new fields continue to be rapidly found…. Another sensible target for Israeli energy diplomacy would be India… eager to diversify its energy sources…. According to the World Energy Council, a leading global energy forum, Israel may have the 3rd largest shale oil reserves in the world: something like 250 billion barrels (US – well over 1 trillion barrels; Canada – 2 trillion barrels)…. OPEC’s power to dictate world prices is likely to decline as Canadian, US, Israeli and Chinese resources come on line… An energy-rich Israel… is also going to be a more valuable ally…. The impact of Israel’s energy wealth is dramatic.  On President Putin’s visit to Jerusalem he donned a Kippah (skullcap) and went to pray at the Western Wall.  Turning to the Wall, he said: ‘here we see how the Jewish past is etched into the stones of Jerusalem….’  In the meantime, we wonder if there was an 11th Commandment at Sinai: ‘Thou shalt drill, baby, thou shalt drill.’”

Originally published at http://www.theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/Israel%E2%80%99s-Economic-Culture-Praised-by-Philips-Globa.aspx 

New Israeli Haredi Consumer Is Savvy, Wielding Purchasing Power of $2.6 Billion

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Haredi consumers are not, by and large, part of Israel’s social protest movement, but their shopping savvy, it turns out, according to Globes, is evolving constantly.

“The Haredi consumer pays less for the same product” as his or her non-Haredi counterpart, says Ronen Gross, host of a daily show on finance titled “Mamonot” on the Radio Kol Chai station. This is because commercial vendors speak to Haredi consumers “at pocket level.”

Gross says that the Haredi consumer “examines with a microscope the price of each item, and has no problem skipping from one supermarket to another if they knows the same product is cheaper there. Every shekel is calculated.”

Gross argues that the fact that the Haredi consumer prefers to sign checks using the Hebrew date, in the end the Jewish holidays guide their decision on when to buy a new product and when it is discouraged by Jewish tradition to do so.

During periods in which tradition demands a particularly sober and restrained behavior, in memory of past troubles, Haredi consumers purchase mostly just basic goods.

“The Jewish calendar leads the Haredi pocket,” says Gross, commenting that “In general, the first priority is not money, but values and faith.”

But other elements in the Haredi sector insist that the consumption habits of the ultra-Orthodox society are starting to resemble those of secular society. Haredim take a vacation once a year, buy brand names and drink quality wine.

Yaakov Stern, CEO of Haredi ad agency “Meimad,” told Globes: “There is something new under the Shtreimel. The Haredi sector is dynamic, it isn’t not stagnant and it isn’t shut off in the past, as is commonly believed. Global trends do not skip it. The Haredi world is changing and its consumer behavior evolves constantly.”

Stern added that despite the stigmas attached to them, “the average Haredi is not just looking for cheap prices. They are aware of and consume brand name products, and will not compromise on quality.”

According to accounting firm BDO Ziv-Haft, the purchasing power of the ultra-Orthodox sector, which constitutes 11.3% of Israel’s population, is estimated at 10.5 billion shekel, or $2.6 billion per annum. With such buying power, it’s no wonder that commercial companies have been investing considerable resources and strategic efforts in the Haredi consumer in recent years.

Stern told Globes that Haredi consumers trust their newspapers, and so print ads yield good results. But some argue that the best Haredi promotion is still “AAA”—acronym for Isha Achat Amrah—This woman told me, meaning word of mouth.

But according to Stern, despite those quaint assertions, the Haredi advertising market rolls $184 million annually, reflecting an increase of 12.5% compared with 2010.

No one beats the Haredi consumer for brand loyalty, even if said brand is more expensive that newer alternatives. In 2010, the newspaper Ha’Mevaser published a survey showing that 38% of Haredi consumers said they prefer Coca Cola as their soft drink. Only 8% said they prefer a cheaper brand.

And 68% preferred the well established brand Osem for their snacks, compared with 18% that went with a cheaper brand.

Retailers agree the Haredi consumer is evolving. Avishai Fadlon, owner of apparel store “El Nino” in prestigious Herzliya, told Globes that “Haredim still buy white shirts, but the symbol on the shirt, the brand, has become important. If three years ago they would have bought three shirts for 100 shekels, today many are willing to pay 300 shekels for one name brand shirt.”

Doreen Trotzmn – Baruch, owner of the wig brand “Doreen wigs,” asserts that “in the past two years, awareness of quality wig which are more expensive has increased. Today, Women are willing to spend on a wig from 6,000 ($1,500) to 12,000 shekel ($3,000), and replace it every year or two, based on fashion, which was not the case five years ago.”

Haredi consumer savvy is reflected in the search for different ways to reduce the cost of goods, by joining clubs and organizing on a community basis.

“Every Haredi community Tzedaka Gabais, social activists, if you will, who obtain consumer goods, especially food, at good prices, by buying directly from the manufacturer,” Chaim Kliger, chief marketing officer for the newspaper Hamevaser and presenter of the “Friday Night” program on Radio Kol Chai, told Globes.

Kliger says you can always find classified ads that read: “Next week there will be a sale of meat,” and then “a truck will arrive at a particular location, where the driver will sell the reduced price products. Many come by and save as much as 30%,” Kliger says, adding, “this selling method is in high gear before the holidays.”

Another way to buy cheaply is offered by the “TaTim,” the Tomchay Torah – supporters of Torah organizations. According to Kliger, “these are organizations of yeshiva students who manage to obtain clothing and footwear for their fellow yeshiva students, especially young men who are about to get married, at cheap rates of as much as 40% below store prices. Before the holidays it becomes a whole industry.”

The “Chinese auctions,” so popular in Orthodox communities in the U.S., have found their way to Israel, too. These are sales fairs, organized by various charity organizations, which raffle off electric appliances, furniture and baby products.

According to Globes, Israeli Haredim remain frugal in one notable area: vacation. Only 10.9% of the Haredi population have opted to travel abroad for their vacations in 2010, compared with 47% who vacationed in Israel. At the same period, 43.6% of secular Israelis vacationed abroad, and 59.8% vacationed in Israel.

Yoram Ettinger: Cisco and Facebook Expand Israel Operations

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco,  in Jerusalem for the recent President’s Conference told Israeli business daily Globes: “We’ll expand here soon…. There are a lot of opportunities here. It’s the second country, after the US, in terms of start-ups and entrepreneurship. There are companies here that do not grow enough, and what we do is to bring these companies into the Cisco family and grow their activity. I don’t think that there is a better time to invest here, in partnerships, venture capital, and help our partners expand.

In March, Cisco acquired NDS, a London-based company with its development center in Israel, for $5 billion.

“Having the NDS base in Israel, we can enter fields such as security…. Although NDS’ headquarters are in Britain, its heart and soul are in Israel,” Chambers continued. “This is a country whose leaders and entrepreneurs I believe in. I believe that it’s possible to find a successful formula for both sides…. Cisco and the Israeli government have set up a joint team to examine ways of expanding their collaboration” (Globes Business Daily, June 21, 2012).

Cisco Systems Israel is Cisco’s second-largest design center outside the United States with over 750 employees, including 500 research and development engineers. Among Cisco’s numerous Israeli acquisitions are:  ClassData, $50 million (May, 1998); InfoGear, $300 million (March, 2000); HyNEX, $127 million (June 2000); Actona, $100 million (June, 2004); P-Cube, $200 million (August, 2004); and as mentioned – NDS, $5 billion, March 2012.

For its part, Facebook acquired Israel’s Face.Com for between $50 million-$100 million, its second Israeli acquisition, following the March 2011 acquisition of Snaptu for $70 million.

Lars Christensen, founder and CEO of Denmark’s Saxo Bank – the second largest foreign exchange broker in the world – which has recently entered the Israeli market: “We’ve identified a long-term potential in the Israeli market, especially due to Israel’s competitive edge in the area of technology.” In July, 2011 Saxo Bank acquired 25% of Israel’s Leverate and 100% of the activities of Israel’s Lembex Trading and Investment.

Originally published at http://www.theettingerreport.com/Home.aspx

Tomato Shortage Leads to Price Surge in Israel

Monday, May 7th, 2012

A tomato shortage has led to a surge in prices for the juicy Israeli staples, with prices estimated to reach NIS 16 per kilo on Monday ($1.90/lb).  Tomatoes are usually an inexpensive commodity, available at 45 – 75 cents a pound.

The shortage is a result of the conclusion of a growing season.  In a month, ripe tomatoes are estimated to be available again, bringing the price back down, according to the Vegetable Growers Association, cited by Globes online business news.

Israeli Anti-Nausea Pill for Cancer Patients Passes Clinical Trial

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Israel’s RedHill Biopharma announced success last week in a major clinical trial of a new drug to prevent nausea in cancer patients.

The once-a-day pill RHB-102, which has now passed a trial corresponding to a Phase III clinical trial, will compete with leading anti-nausea drug Zofran, made by GlaxoSmithKline, which is taken several times a day.

Redhill will apply to the FDA for a pre-New Drug Application hearing for market approval in a few weeks.

Anti-nausea medications are estimated to be worth $2 billion around the world, according to a report in Globes online business news.

Yoram Ettinger: For Long-Term Confidence in Israel’s Economy

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Israel’s economic growth during the last five years (21%) is higher than all OECD countries, besides Turkey. Israel’s economy grew 270% over the last 20 years, while Israel’s population grew 145%. Israel’s unemployment is its lowest ever – 5.4%. The strength of Israel’s exports is derived from its multitude of companies, diversified technologies and products, reaching diversified markets, cutting edge technologies, focusing on essential products (medical, telecommunications, Internet, water technologies, energy alternatives, homeland security, defense), preferring high tech over raw material, expanding joint ventures with global giants, bolstering research & development (world leader in percentage of GDP).

Israel is expected to become a net-exporter of natural gas by2018. Israel’s economy receives a tailwind from an annual Aliya (Jewish immigration), reduced emigration, accelerated return by expatriates, an expanding young population (especially due to rising fertility rate of the secular sector), a growing integration of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel’s workforce and military service and the potential for a dramatic wave of Aliya due to economic, political, security, and social circumstances in the former USSR, France, England, Argentina and the USA (Adam Reuter, Financial Immunities, March 14, 2012).

Intel’s exports from Israel – $2.2BN in 2011. Since 1999, Intel’s exports from Israel total $22.5BN (Globes Business Daily, March 19). Intel employs 7,800 persons in Israel – 10% of Intel’s global manpower. 700 were hired in 2011, projecting 600 more in 2012. Abbott Laboratories – which acquired Israel’s SrarLims in 2010 – concluded a 3-year cooperation agreement with Israel’s Weizmann Institute (Globes, February 7).

Credit Suisse reported a 5.35% holding in Israel’s $12BN CheckPoint – $643MN (Globes, February 10). Virginia-based Tamro Capital Partners and San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments announced a 5.9% and a5.7% holding in Israel’s Ceragon – $18MN and $17MN respectively (Globes, February 10). The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel’s RadVision for $230MN (Globes, March 16). The $21BN Broadcom acquired Israel’s BroadLight for $200MN- Broadcom’s 10th acquisition of an Israeli company in 10 years (5th since 2009), leveraging the top quality Israeli human resource – innovations; which are transformed into cutting-edge technologies, manufacturing lines and exports. Broadcom has intensified its Israel operations during the last two years (Globes, March 21, 2012). Goldman Sachs acquired 10% of Israel’s Viola Group fro $200MN (Globes, February 22). The NYC-based W Capital Partners acquired, from Yozma VC Fund, 3% of Israel/US Conduit for $39MN (March 19).

San Francisco-based Koshla Ventures and Burrill & Co. and Menlo Park-based Triple Point led a $30MN round by Israel’s HCL-Virdia (Globes, March 8). France Télécom, the French Publicis Groupe and Iris Capital co-led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s MyThings, joined by Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners and Deutsche Telecom investment arm T-Venture (Globes, March 21). The Boston-based Spark Capital led a $15MN round by Israel’s eToro (Globes, March 14). A West Coast investment bank led a $13MN round by Israel’s Vascular Dynamics (Globes, March 8).

2011 mergers & acquisitions of 85 Israeli high tech companies (27% increase over 2010) – $5.1BN, the highest sum in 10 years, except the 2006 bubble ($11BN).

 

http://www.theettingerreport.com/

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/yoram-ettinger-for-long-term-confidence-in-israels-economy/2012/03/25/

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