Israel has risen to 24th place in the World Economic Forum's Financial Development Report 2012 on 62 countries, two places up from 26th in the 2011 rankings. The slight progress is positive news given that the report's authors say that the global financial system is stagnating, which poses challenges for global economic recovery.
Hong Kong, the US, and the UK top the rankings. Israel is ranked second in its region (the Middle East and North Africa), after Kuwait.
"Over the past year, Israel exhibited improvement across several pillars, including financial stability (26th), non-banking financial services (36th), and financial markets (20th)," says the report.
The report adds, "Israel also benefits from relatively strong results in the institutional environment (19th) and financial access (19th) pillars. In particular, Israel has a sound legal and regulatory framework (20th), good contract enforcement mechanisms (21st), and solid availability of commercial capital (10th). Despite these relative strengths, there are a number of clear areas for improvement. Banking financial services (30th) and non-banking financial services (36th) are relatively underdeveloped. Israel’s banking system is comparatively small (30th) and inefficient (32nd), and the country’s securitization (55th) activity is minimal."
Israel has fairly high rankings in corporate governance and liberalization of the financial sector (23rd place). High scores were also obtained for disclosure of financial information (8th place) and the development of the stock market (12th place). On the other hand, Israel is near the bottom in the cost of doing business category (in 55th place).
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 31, 2012
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