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Tel Aviv Bourse Seeks to Create High-Tech Index to Lure Buyers

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Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange is in talks with global index makers to set up a technology equities gauge to include companies listed in Israel and abroad, a senior bourse executive said.

“We want to make it easier to invest in Israeli high-tech,” Hani Shitrit Bach, senior vice president at the bourse, said in an interview in her Tel Aviv office yesterday. “An international index will enable investment in the technology sector and not only in a specific company.” The gauge will be a good base to create exchange-traded funds, Shitrit Bach said.

With more active startups per capita than any country, according to the Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center, the bourse is seeking to attract additional high-tech listings to better reflect the economic impact of technology companies, which account for about 80 percent of exports. A committee to encourage high-tech startups to list in Tel Aviv, headed by Shitrit Bach, submitted proposals to the Israel Securities Authority last week.

Companies like Wix.com have listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange while others have been bought, like Waze Inc. by Google Inc. last year. Nice Systems Ltd., a maker of data analysis software, is the only tech stock listed on the 25-member benchmark TA-25 Index equities benchmark. Yokneam Elit, Israel-based Mellanox Technologies Ltd. delisted last year.

The new index would also include Israel-related companies not listed in Tel Aviv, like security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. and billing software-maker Amdocs Ltd., Shitrit Bach said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net

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