After several years of decline, TASE is attempting a comeback.
The plan calls for the hiring of sales people who will work at attracting new company flotations and will allow for the trading in companies not officially listed on the exchange. According to Beinart, the new sales staff will be part of a more active effort to promote TASE’s services. This is necessary, he feels, in order to compete with New York’s NASDAQ where many of Israel’s high tech start ups prefer to be listed. Also, there will be an effort to attract biotech companies in order to compete with the Toronto exchange which draw in many energy firms.
In a statement to the Reuters news agency, Beinart said, “We never went out to sell, we just waited for them to come. We have to be proactive and not be a utility. We have to go out and look for business.”
There were 654 companies listed on TASE in 2007. That number has dropped to only 485 today and this fact poses a daunting challenge to Mr. Beinart. Also, the average daily trading on the TASE has fallen considerably over the last two years. But the trading volume did recover somewhat over the first quarter of this year, rising to 1.3 billion Shekels ($376 million) in shares per day, up from 1.1 billion Shekels ($310 million) in 2012. But the TASE is still far from returning to the 2 billion Shekel a day high it reached in 2010.
It is Beinart’s ambition to bring in 100 new companies to TASE over the next five years and to bring its daily trading volume up to 2.5 billion Shekels ($690 million). He will do this, in part, by offering small and medium-sized companies a package of services such as analysis, investor relations and road shows.
He also said that the TASE was working on increasing the number of firms which could be traded there, including companies listed on other exchanges.
Together with the TASE chairman Amnon Neubach, Beinart said a plan to turn the exchange into a for profit company by the banks and other members who currently own it is moving forward.
On this Mr. Neubach commented, “All of them understand something has to be done. When and how is too soon to say. But we hope (it will be done) between a year and a year and a half.”
There is, however, concern about regulations which have increased since the financial crisis began in 2008. Beinart says that there should be an easing of some of the reporting requirements to make it easier for some companies to be traded.
Yossi Beinart previously served as the CEO of both Nadex and Shiel IP Inc. He graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a Bsc in computer science in 1986 and was the longtime president and CEO of the North American Derivatives Exchange (NADEX). He took over as the TASE CEO in January of this year after its long serving former CEO Ester Levanon stepped down.
Amnon Neubach served as the minister of economic affairs at the Israeli embassy in Washington from 1990-1994. He has worked for Goldman Sachs, served as chairman of Larotec Ltd. and Athlone Investments, and was the chairman of the board of Israel’s Pelephone cell phone company. Mr. Neubach has a BA In economics and business administration and an MA in economics from Bar Ilan University. He assumed the chairmanship of TASE in March.