exchange targets Israeli firms
14 May, 2002
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has urged Israeli firms to list
their shares in the UK.
The invite was issued at a conference in Tel Aviv which set out
to convince the firms to raise international finance in London rather
than in New York.
The conference coincided with a call from the League of Arab States
for a global boycott of Israel and its commercial partners.
"We're there purely for commercial reasons. We're not making
a political statement," an LSE spokesman told BBC News Online.
The LSE believes its offer would suit Israeli companies that are
considering an international listing, perhaps in addition to an
existing listing on their domestic Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange.
"We have a lot to offer Israeli companies," the spokesman
The spokesman highlighted London's convenient time zone, its tailored
markets for technology and healthcare firms and the access to huge
amounts of international capital.
The LSE's pitch for Israeli business was part of a conference organised
by the Israel Britain Business Council which exists to promote stronger
trade links between the two countries.
At a separate conference - this one in Dubai - the head of the
League's Central Boycott Office, Ahmed Khazaa, said the limited
trade campaign against Israel should be extended.
"We are seeking to develop the boycott so that it becomes
an international boycott," he said.
Speaking at the conference, the head of the United Arab Emirates'
Journalists Association's boycott committee pointed to concerns
that Israeli goods could be sold in Arab states "under different
names and from different countries".
The LSE spokesman did not think the boycott threat would affect
investors' decisions to invest in Israeli firms.
"Investor appetite, be it for Israeli or other companies,
depends on the company itself," he said.
The most likely buyers of shares in Israeli firms would be institutions
such as insurance companies and pension funds, he explained.
"Institutional investors tend to be long-term thinkers which
put events in their correct context."
Currently, there are 13 Israeli companies listed on the London
"Israel is very much a priority market for us," the LSE
New York's main stock exchange and its rival Nasdaq are also keen
to attract Israeli firms.