This content is from: Home

Israel's Orgler masters market timing

Last September Yair Orgler, chairman of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, paid a call on the Palestine Securities Exchange, in Nablus on the West Bank, to discuss possible cooperative ventures.

"We had a very constructive and pleasant visit," Orgler says of his excursion. "Unfortunately, it was ten days before the start of the intifada."

The timing of his recent trip to London to drum up interest in Israel's stock market was a bit more propitious. Orgler arrived 24 hours before the start of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that offered at least the promise of a respite from eight straight months of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the latest chapter in the latter's long-standing intifada. He was pleased that his presentation drew about 100 analysts and investors, and he hopes to make it an annual event.

The Tel Aviv exchange rallied more than 2 percent on news of the cease-fire, but it's still down some 20 percent since May of last year, beset by both the intifada and the collapse of technology stocks. But in the Mideast, as Orgler observes, "things can change very quickly."