Is­raeli stars want to list in Lon­don

The Jewish Chronicle - - Business -

AS we grow ac­cus­tomed to ever more de­press­ing eco­nomic news, it is hard to imag­ine the day when we will, once again, wit­ness Is­raeli com­pa­nies trav­el­ling to Lon­don to try their luck with a list­ing on the main mar­ket or AIm. how­ever, that day will surely come, which per­haps ex­plains why, de­spite the un­der­stand­able pes­simism cur­rently en­velop­ing us, the Lon­don Stock ex­change is looking to the fu­ture and mak­ing an­other one of their reg­u­lar vis­its to Is­rael next month.

So why does the Stock ex­change con­sider Is­rael such a key mar­ket? the an­swer is all to do with num­bers: by the end of 2007, about 40 Is­raeli/Is­rael-re­lated com­pa­nies had floated their shares on one of the Lon­don mar­kets. this fol­lowed a heavy blitz of sem­i­nars in Is­rael ar­ranged by the Stock ex­change, the Bri­tish em­bassy, var­i­ous in­vest­ment banks and other in­ter­me­di­aries.

Since then, of course, a num­ber of those com­pa­nies have been ei­ther bought out, taken pri­vate or delisted from the Lon­don mar­ket — this is true of non-Is­raeli com­pa­nies as well.

At the same time, a num­ber of the Is­raeli com­pa­nies have per­formed very well since com­ing to the mar­ket.

For ex­am­ple, Amiad Fil­tra­tion Sys­tems Ltd, which pro­duces and sup­plies wa­ter fil­ters and fil­tra­tion sys­tems world­wide, re­cently an­nounced an in­crease in turnover of 44 per cent to $39.5m and in prof­its be­fore tax of 47 per cent to $5.4m for the first six months of this year, in com­par­i­son to the same pe­riod in 2007.

the com­pany, which is head­quar­tered on Kib­butz Amiad in North­ern Is­rael, listed on AIm in De­cem­ber 2005. Sim­i­larly, Dori me­dia Group Ltd, which is based near tel Aviv and pro­duces and dis­trib­utes te­len­ov­e­las — a tV genre which at­tracts huge audiences par­tic­u­larly in Latin Amer­ica, but also in Ger­many, Rus­sia, In­dia and Is­rael — saw its rev­enues up 119 per cent to $27.8m and its gross prof­its up 43 per cent to US$13.1m in the first half of 2008, as com­pared to the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod in 2007.

Whilst it is true that th­ese com­pa­nies are not cur­rently vy­ing for en­try into the FtSe 100, they will, hope­fully, con­tinue to be seen as good role mod­els when the next wave of Is­raeli com­pa­nies is looking to go pub­lic in Lon­don. that may not be on the cards for quite a while yet, but it will hap­pen. Jonathan Mor­ris is a part­ner at the law firm Ber­win Leighton Pais­ner LLP

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