The South Carolina-Israel Experience: June, 7, 2012 – Columbia, SC
May 24, 2012
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June 18, 2012
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Economic News from Israel

• Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange after transferring from Nasdaq. They had been the 2nd largest company trading on Nasdaq, and the 7th company this year to switch to NYSE. Teva and Procter & Gamble were just named “Deal of the Year” for their joint venture, PGTHealthcare, at this year’s Eagle Star Awards Gala.
• Intel is to invest in computational intelligence projects at Technion and Hebrew University as part of a $40 million investment worldwide over the next 5 years at university research centers in the UK, Germany, and Israel through the Intel Collaborative Research Institutes in those 3 countries. The Israeli research is expected to explore ways to enable computing systems to augment human capabilities in a wide array of complex tasks through body sensors.
• Tirat Carmel-based Insightec has signed an MOU with GE Healthcare for an investment of an additional $27.5 million in their company that develops MRI-guided focused ultrasound devices for the treatment of uterine fibroids, tumors, and neurological disorders. GE invested 13.5 million in February, and currently holds an 18% stake in the company whos majority owner is Elbit Medical Technologies.
• Tel Aviv-based Azrieli Group has bought an office building in Charlotte, North Carolina, thereby expanding its portfolio of US properties beyond the Galleria Center office complex in Houston. The 985,315-square foot building in the Charlotte Business District is 70% leased to Wells Fargo Bank in a lease through December 2021. The company estimates the property’s net operating income averaging $18.5 million a year, for a return on investment of 7.5%.
• Tel Aviv-based Rainbow Medical, which was established on the basis of medical devices companies founded by Yossi Gross, is raising $50 million in its second fiancncing round. Two of Rainbow’s strategic investors, Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories, are investing in the round alon with GlenRock Israel led by Leon Recanati, one of Rainbow’s founders. Rainbow currently has 12 portfolio companies, 8 of which are conducting human clinical trials of their products.
• Legislation in the US Congress is expected to give Israel one of the most generous aid packages it has ever received. The US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 is expected to offer Israel refueling aircraft and special munitions; access to pictures from US sy satellites, and open US air space for Israel Air Force exercises as well as an extesnon of loan guarantees until 2015, according to Defense News.
• Israel’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in April from 7.1% in March according the Central Bureau of Statistics. Participation in the labor force rose by 0.6% from 3.31 million persons in March.
• Foreign residents bought 33,600 apartments in Israel in 2002-2011, just 4% of all homes bought during this period according to the Ministry of Finance. Some 60% of the apartments were in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, although projects in coastal cities such as Netanya and Eilat are also a focus of attention.
• Israel’s economy grew by 3% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2012 according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, but GDP growth was less than in the preceding two quarters. Despite the worsening crisis in Europe, exports of goods and services rose by an annualized 14.2% during the first quarter after falling by 0.2% in the preceding quarter.
• Israeli venture capital backed high-tech companies raised $165 million in the first quarter of 2012, about half the amount raised in the preceding quarter and 52% less than in the corresponding quarter of 2011 according to the MoneyTree Report of PWC Israel. 48 companies raised capital in the quarter, down from 58 companies in the preceding quarter and 83 companies in the corresponding quarter with average investment rising to $5.6 million from $4.1 million.
• Israel’s Minister of Finance has signed a directive regulating the work of foreign lawyers in Israel that removes barriers that previously prevented them from working in Israel and collaboration between Israeli and foreign law firms. The change is expected to increase the exposure of the Israeli market to international law firms and tgheir business customers, and will give Israeli customers of foreign law firms a safety net.
• The US House of Representatives Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approved almost $1 billion for Israel’s anti-missile defense programs—the Arrow 3 upgrading the current Arrow system, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome. Arrow is a joint venture of Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries, and David’s Sling is a joint venture of Raytheon and Rafael, with much of the work being done in Huntsville, Alabama.
• While the United States remains the most important export destination for Israel, the UK has become the largest in Europe according to the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute. Turkey has dropped from 3rd to 6th as relations between the two countries continue to sour.

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