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PEOPLE - Tel Aviv Takeoff

Emerging markets are all the rage lately, but Ester Levanon, chief executive of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is hoping that her market's promotion from emerging to developed status will attract new investor interest.

Emerging markets are all the rage lately, but Ester Levanon, chief executive of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is hoping that her market's promotion from emerging to developed status will attract new investor interest.

The FTSE Group elevated Tel Aviv last month, citing a number of recent developments, including an easing of short-selling restrictions and an increase in the minimum free-float of listed companies. The bourse is the only one in the Middle East to be considered developed by the London-based index provider.

With some $2.5 trillion in funds tracking FTSE's developed market indexes, the upgrading could generate an added $2 billion in investment inflows to the Tel Aviv market, which has seen its main index rise 21.7 percent in the first nine months of this year, Levanon hopes. "We can offer better yields than other developed markets, and you don't have to get into the risk of investing in an emerging market," she says.