- Main opposition is from TASE members, not bank unions
- Trading schedule change part of bid to join MSCI Europe index
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plans to change its Sunday to Thursday trading schedule to align with markets abroad in the first quarter of 2017, Chairman Amnon Neubach said.
The change to keep the market open on Fridays is contingent upon winning approval from the exchange’s 26 members, and while there are still some holdouts, the TASE leadership has made progress in that regard, Neubach said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters.
Israel’s bourse is trying everything from easing rules for high-tech companies to switching the days of its trading week to boost volumes and attract new companies to the exchange. Volumes have plunged 31 percent since 2010, when MSCI Inc. upgraded the nation to developed-market status. The main resistance now is from some TASE members, which include local and foreign banks, who are concerned the trading changes will increase their costs without providing real benefits, the chairman said.
“We made a very deep survey and we have another opinion, and we believe we are right,” he said. “But you need two to tango, and we would like them to work with us closely.”
Aligning Israel’s trading days and trade settlement schedule with international markets are two prerequisites MSCI laid out to bourse executives in order to consider Israel’s inclusion in the index provider’s European gauge, a move the TASE believes would bring more foreign capital to the exchange.
Neubach was in New York for the Nasdaq listing of the ITEQ exchange-traded fund, which tracks Israeli tech companies listed abroad and in Tel Aviv.
He said exchange-traded notes and funds that track Israeli companies globally can help boost flagging volumes on the TASE by bundling high-profile stocks known to foreign investors with overlooked local companies in one passive investment vehicle. The TASE also wants to trade Israeli technology companies that aren’t listed in Israel.
“We realize the importance, and how it contributes for us, to have Israeli companies that are not listed in our stock exchange in the same index.” Neubach said. “This will support us and assist Israeli companies to be trading all over.”