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Good News From Israel: Economy & Business

Growing nicely.  (TY Michelle) Moody’s Investors Service reported that Israel’s resilient growth model, effective governance and steadily improving debt metrics underpin its A1 government bond rating and stable outlook.–PR_336069
Record funds raised by hi-tech firms.  In the nine months to Sep 2015, a total of 506 Israeli high-tech companies raised a phenomenal $3.2 billion. This compares to $2.3 billion raised by 504 Israeli companies over the same period in 2014.
30 years of US-Israeli free trade.  (TY Michelle) The 30th anniversary session of the U.S. – Israel Joint Economic Development Group in Washington also highlighted the 30th anniversary of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement – the first free trade agreement signed by the United States.
New Tel Aviv to San Francisco flights.  United Airlines is to start a 3-times-a-week service between Tel Aviv and San Francisco.  The new route will strengthen ties between the Startup Nation and Silicon Valley and was praised by the US Ambassador Dan Shapiro.
New Chinese fund for Israeli investments.  CreditEase China, one of the biggest microcredit and wealth management firms in the world, has established the CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund (CEIIF), its first Israel-focused venture-capital/private equity fund.  The fund has raised $30 million for investment in Israeli hi-tech.
CyberArk makes US purchase.  CyberArk is another Israeli firm growing by acquisition. Following its NASDAQ launch and purchase of Israel’s CyberIntel, it has now bought up Massachusetts-based Viewfinity for $30 million. Viewfinity will help CyberArk’s Privileged Account Security Solution to prevent cyber-attacks.
Israelis to drill for North Sea oil.  Israel’s Delek Group is to become the biggest shareholder in UK North Sea oil and gas firm Ithaca Energy following a £43million investment.  Ithaca is currently focused on the construction of a new production hub in the Greater Stella area of the central North Sea.
SanDisk sold for $19 billion.  Memory chip maker SanDisk, founded by Israel’s Eli Harari, has been sold to US hard disk manufacturer Western Digital for $19 billion. In 2014, Harari received the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation for revolutionizing the flash storage industry. SanDisk has 3 Israeli R&D centers.
Microsoft buys another Israeli cybersecurity firm.  Microsoft is buying Israeli cyber security company Secure Islands for $100-150 million. It will be Microsoft’s fifth Israeli acquisition this year and its 3rd Israeli cyber security company in the past 12 months.



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