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Economic News from Israel

  • eBay is setting up a start-up incubator in Israel that will focus on ecommerce, social networks, and big data.  It will be located at the company’s Israeli headquarters in Netanya.
  • Modi’in-based Exalenz has obtained FDA approval for marketing its new BreathID system for the detection of the H. Pylori bacteria, a cause of gastric ulcers.  The company spent years developing the system including clinical trials in 330 patients in the US and Israel.
  • Israel Aerospace Industries will build wings for the F-35 Lightning II stealth combat jet which Lockheed Martin will begin producing in 2015.  The 10-15 year contract has a potential value of $2.5 billion.
  • AICC member attorney Alan Minsk, partner at Arnall Golden Gregory, will share his expertise on the “Dos and Don’ts with the FDA” with Israeli medical device executives on June 13th at Orcanos Café in Tel Aviv.  Minsk will be in Israel to attend the IATA Biomed conference.
  • Caesarea-based Spectrum Dynamics has been acquired by Singapore-based Biosensors International Group for $51 million.  The company has developed personalized molecular imaging and applications in nuclear cardiology, and is part of the Medinvest Group of Professor Shlomo Ben-Haim.  The CEO is Atlanta-based Jim Haisler, a member of AICC’s board.
  • Herzliya Pituach-based Vintage Investment Partners announced the $161 million closing of its sixth fund, and will now manage $700 million. Originally planning to raise $150 million, Vintage’s investors are Israeli and foreign financial institutions, including family offices.  The fund’s partners are Alan Feld, Abe Finkelstein, Amit Frenkel, and Hagai Goldhirsh.
  • Kibbutz Sdot Yam-based Caesarstone has signed a contract with IKEA US to be its exclusive supplier of non-laminate countertops.  Under the agreement, Caesarstone will source, finish, and distribute countertop products, including mainly Caesarstone quartz surfaces as well as other materials.
  • Israel’s GDP rose by an annualized 2.8% in the first quarter of 2013, up from 2.6% in the preceding quarter according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.  In addition, private consumption rose by an annualized 5.6% after falling 0.5% in the previous quarter.
  • Israeli high tech companies raised $196 million in Q1 2013, 29% less than in the preceding quarter but 19% more than in the corresponding quarter of 2012 according to a report by PwC Israel in its quarterly MoneyTree Report.  Software companies raised 33% of the total capital with Internet companies raising 23%.

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