STOCK MARKETS IN ISRAEL
The precursor to the TASE was the Exchange Bureau for Securities, founded by the Anglo-Palestine Bank (which became Bank Leumi) in 1935. With rapid growth of the Israeli economy after the founding of the state, a formal stock exchange was incorporated and began operations in Tel Aviv in 1953. In 1983 the exchange moved to its current location in Tel Aviv.
In 1993 TASE had the third largest number of IPOs of all the world stock exchanges.
In 1999 the exchange completed its turnover to fully computerized trading, with the change orchestrated by Esther Levanon, who came to the exchange in January 1986 after 12 years with the Shin Bet, having set up and run the security agency’s computer department after her PhD work at the Technion. She later became CEO of the exchange.
In 2005, non-Israeli investment in TASE reached an all-time high of NIS 2 billion. Average daily share volume reached a record high of NIS 1 billion, double that of 2000 and 50% more than in 2004. The bond market saw a record high of NIS 1.3 billion daily average turnover, 40% more than in 2004. Non-governmental bonds reached a daily average of NIS 220 million. Share issuance volume reached NIS 12.2 billion, around the same level of 2000 and 70% above the level of 2004. The TA-25 increased 34%. By the end of the year foreign investment banks UBS, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC had become members of TASE.
In September 2006, TASE bought out the shares of TASE Clearing House from TASE members, making it a fully owned subsidiary. The TASE Clearing House maintained a NIS 620 million risk fund at the time, as a primary cushion of protection from potential risks, in addition to the NIS 30 million in shareholders equity.
In 2007, 56 new companies raised more than $2.5 billion in initial public offerings on the exchange, among them 20 hi-tech firms. Average daily share trading volume set new records, averaging $500 million a day, a 55% jump over 2006. Bond trading volume increased more than 100% from 2006 levels, to $800 million. Over 2007, the market for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) grew with the addition of 150, bringing the total number of listed ETFs to 240, representing 18% of the trading volume in shares and 10% of the trading volume in non-government bonds. The public’s holdings in ETFs reached more than $6 billion. The Tel Bond-20 index was also launced, with the value of index products totalling $900 million. For the four years 2004–07, the TA-25 rose 175% – more than four times the figure for New York’s markets for that timeframe.
In May 2008 Northern Trust started the first US exchange-traded fund on the NYSE based on TASE’s benchmark, the TA-25 Index.
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