Financial crisis fails to dent Israeli companies' global activity

Overseas assets and sales fell as a proportion of total activity in 2008, but the number of overseas employees rose.

The global financial crisis had little effect on the overseas activity of Israel's 25 leading global companies in 2008. The share of overseas assets and sales as a proportion of total assets and sales fell slightly, but the number of overseas employees actually rose.

These are among the findings of research carried out for the third successive year by the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Prof. Seev Hirsch, professor emeritus at the Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Dr. Niron Hashai of the Jerusalem School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University, and the Vale Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University. The survey examines characteristics of the international activity of Israel's leading multi-national companies.

According to the survey, Israel Corp. (TASE: ILCO) and Elco Holdings (TASE: ELCO) are Israel's two largest global companies, accounting for 40% of the total international assets of the country's 25 leading global companies. The value of their overseas assets was over $7 billion in 2008. In third place is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA), with overseas assets worth $2.7 billion. Fourth comes Amdocs (NYSE: DOX), with overseas assets worth $2.3 billion. Fifth is Ormat Industries (TASE: ORMT), with overseas assets worth over $1.5 billion.

The research also found that six companies were new on the list of the 25 leading global companies: Elron Electronic Industries (Nasdaq: ELRN; TASE: ELRN) in 14th place; Palram Industries (TASE: PLRM) in 15th place; Carmel-Olefins in 17th place; Retalix (Nasdaq: RTLX; TASE: RTLX) in 18th place; and Hod Assaf (TASE: HOD), in 25th place.

The 25 companies' overseas sales in 2008 totaled some $40 billion, and the number of people they employed overseas rose 36% to about 93,000.

The figures are consistent with the performance of the Israeli economy as a whole in 2008. Unemployment in Israel fell by almost 15% that year. The Israeli companies had 572 overseas subsidiaries in 2008. They continued to prefer Europe as an investment destination. 51% of the subsidiaries were in Europe, 22% in North America, 16% in Asia and Oceania, 10% in Latin America (the number doubled in 2008), and just 1% in Africa.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 31, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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