American real estate firms have sold $14.6 billion worth of bonds so far this year on the Tel Aviv Stock Market, Bloomberg has reported. This marks a 40% increase from the same period last year.
The debt is being issued in Shekels because it is 0.12 percentage point cheaper for borrowers to sell bonds in Israeli currency and convert it to dollars than it is to issue in greenbacks directly. The Tel Aviv Bond 40 Index has reached a near record bringing $86 billion into its corporate bond market.
Extell Development Co. and Zarasai Group Ltd. have recently issued a total of $436 million of debt there.
Israel Shimonov, founding partner at Shimonov & Co. Advocates which helps U.S. Firms issue bonds in Israel, told Bloomberg, “Institutional investors and pension managers are thirsty for investment as money in the bank hardly yields anything. The government does not issue enough bonds, and equity listings are limited. Nobody is coming to Israel because of pretty eyes. The underlying economics works for them.”
Yair Lapidot, founder and chief executive officer of Tel Aviv-based Yelin Lapidot Investment House said about the local Israeli investors, “This is a chance to diversify our investments in real estate outside Israel. This is not a hit-and-run. We expect these companies to keep the relationship going and stay in touch with us.”
Bloomberg reports that at least four more U.S. companies are expected to issue bonds in Israel before the end of the year.