The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) plans to recruit more foreign and Israeli Arab companies to trade on the exchange. At present TASE, the only stock exchange in Israel, has more than 130 companies listed, with 25 to 30 percent of the stocks owned by foreign investors.

TASE CEO Ester Levanon said, “We have made it our goal to attract more high-tech companies, not only from Israel but from Asia and Europe as well. One of the things that we are doing is conferences outside of Israel. The next one is July 1 in London… with the governor of the central bank [Bank of Israel] Prof. Stanley Fisher as the keynote speaker.”

Dr Roby Nathanson, Director General of the Macro Center for Political Economics in Israel, said the reason for the absence of Israeli Arab companies on TASE is due to the structure of the Israeli Arab sector, which only recently started to transform from an agriculture- and construction-based society to one that is more business-oriented.

Levanon and Nathanson were speaking to The Media Line, a non-profit news organization established “to enhance and balance media coverage in the Middle East.”