FREE Subscription to our
just enter your email address
View Previous Issues



London exchange targets Israeli firms


BBC News
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.

European alternative

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 said.

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".

Correct context

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 Stock Exchange.

"Israel is very much a priority market for us," the LSE spokesman said.

New York's main stock exchange and its rival Nasdaq are also keen to attract Israeli firms.