Weekly Review: 25 September-6 October 2011

Trading over the past two weeks on TASE was marked by volatility in share prices, closing the period with price gains in most leading indices.
• The TA-25 index which increased 1.1%, is 20.8% lower than its beginning-of-the-year level, following a 16% increase in 2010.

 The TA-100 index, which gained 1.8%, is 22.4% lower than at the beginning of the year, following a 15% increase in 2010.

• The TA Real Estate-15 and the BlueTech-50 indices increased 3.5%. In contrast, the TA-Banks index dropped 3.9%.

• Over the past two weeks, the Government of Israel floated government bonds on the local market equaling US $900 million. Since the beginning of the year, the government raised US $12.8 billion, as opposed to US $15.2 billion in the 2010 calendar year.

• The Governor of the Bank of Israel lowered the interest rate by 0.25%, to 3% starting October. This follows a four-time cumulative increase this year of 1.25%.

• Figures released this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that the 2010 growth rate has been adjusted to 4.8%, while projected growth for 2011 stands at 5%.

• Figures released by the Bank of Israel indicate that foreign equity investments in Israel were renewed after a month hiatus, coming to US $100 million in August and US $1.7 billion since the beginning of the year.
Similarly, foreign investors continued to increase investments in government bonds, which amounted to US $1.2 billion in August. At the same time, investments of US $400 million in T-bills (MAKAM) were liquidated.
• The NIS/dollar exchange rate on 6 October came to 3.725, a bi-weekly increase of 0.4% against the shekel, which brings the year-to-date appreciation of the dollar to 5.0%%, after depreciating 6% in 2010.

• The NIS/Euro exchange rate on 6 October came to 4.9434 down 1.5% over bi-weekly. The Euro has appreciated 4.3% against the NIS since the beginning of the year, after depreciating 12.9% in 2010.