Israel's Biggest Euro Bond Attracts More than Four Times Demand
On January 12 Bloomberg reported, "Israel has sold its largest-ever euro-denominated bond in an auction that was more than four times oversubscribed, its first foray into the European debt market in three years." The story quoted Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who said,""The success of the sale is a vote of confidence in Israel’s economy.” The finance minister also noted that Israel finished 2016 with a low deficit, a significantly reduced debt-to-GDP ratio and an improvement in its credit rating.
2016: A Good Year for Israel's Economy
According to the Ettinger Report, Israel concluded 2016 with a number of economic highpoints. The debt-to-GDP ratio, an important indicator of the health of a nation's economy, declined to 60.4 percent, compared to 62.6 percent in 2015, 64.8 percent in 2014, 69.3 percent in 2010 and 105 percent in 2003. Additonally, Israel's GDP grew by 3.8 percent.
Global Interest in Israel's Economy Remains High
Israel’s high-tech sector raised an all-time high of $4.8 billion in foreign investment in 2016. The record number compares to $4.3 billion in 2015, $3.4 billion in 2014, $2.4 billion in 2013 and $1.9 billion in 2012.
Fitch Upgrades Israel
In a report issued November 14, Fitch Ratings Agency upgraded Israel’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings from ‘A’ to ‘A+.’ Report highlights included:
- “Israel benefits from high financing flexibility. It has deep and liquid local markets, good access to international capital markets, an active diaspora bond program [italics added], and US government guarantees in the event of market disruption.”
- “Israel's well-developed institutions and education system have led to a diverse and advanced economy. Human development and GDP per capita are above the peer medians, and the business environment promotes innovation, particularly among the high-tech sector.”
- “Further gas sector development will lend additional support to the external balance sheet. Production at the Tamar gas field off the coast of Israel, which commenced in 2013, has reduced the need for gas imports.”
(Israel bonds are not rated)
“A Hotbed of Technology”
An October 26, 2016 article on InstitutionalInvestor.com notes, “Israel’s Silicon Wadi is bringing in billions from investors.” The article goes on to call Israel “a hotbed of technology start-ups that’s drawing billions in investment from foreign companies and venture capital firms.”
S&P, Moody's Confirm Israel Ratings
In separate reports issued in August, S&P* and Moody's* both affirmed their ratings for Israel. In explaining its decision to keep its 'A+/A-1' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit rating,with an outlook of ‘stable,’ S&P cited “Israel's prosperous and diverse economy, strong external balance sheet, and flexible monetary framework.”
Similarly, Moody's reaffirmed its A1 rating, noting Israel’s “durable economy and robust institutions, which have enabled the country to successfully weather global and domestic shocks as well as geopolitical challenges with limited disruption to its economic stability.”
Moody’s added,“Furthermore, Israel can also depend upon financial support from the global Jewish community, mainly via the Israel Bonds program, and the U.S. government, especially in an emergency.”
Read the S&P report and the Moody's report.
Debt-to-GDP Ratio Continues to Fall
According to an August 17 Haaretz article, Israel’s 2015 debt-to-GDP ratio - one of the most significant indicators of a nation’s economic well-being - has been revised downward from 64.9 percent to 63,9 percent.
Positive Economic News for Israel
Even as the global economy continues to be unstable, positive economic news for Israel keeps coming. According to an article posted August 17, on the Israeli business site Globes, Israel’s Q2 GDP rose 3.7 percent, for adjusted overall first half growth of 2.9 percent.
Fitch Cites "Active Bond Program"
On April 21, 2016, Fitch Ratings Agency* upgraded Israel’s long-term outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive.’ The Fitch report also cited the Israel Bonds enterprise, noting that Israel can rely on “an active Diaspora bond program and US government guarantees in the event of market disruption.”
S&P Notes Israel's "Diversified Economy"
In an opinion issued in February 2016, Standard & Poor’s*: stated,“We expect the Israeli economy to weather potential volatility in the global economy and international financial market, thanks to its diversified economy, strong external position, and flexible monetary framework.”
OECD Praises Israel's Consistent GDP Growth
In its 2016 economic survey of Israel, the OECD reports, “Thanks to prudent monetary, financial and fiscal policies, growth has exceeded most other OECD countries’ rates for more than a decade. Employment is rising, inflation is low, the external surplus is comfortable, and the public finances are in relatively good shape.”
"An Attractive Global Investment Target"
An article in the December 11 issue of Global Finance declared, "Israel remains one of the world’s leading technology and innovation hubs and an attractive global investment target, supported by prudent fiscal and monetary policies and a favorable macroeconomic environment."
Israel's Economy is an "Incredible Example"
In a November 2015 essay, American Enterprise Institute research fellow Alex Brill wrote, “The Israeli economy remains an incredible example of a developed country’s ability to achieve sustained economic growth."
Moody's Praises Israel's Economic Policy
A Moody's* report issued in October 2015 observed, “Israel rebounded from the global financial and economic crisis quickly thanks to timely fiscal and monetary policy responses.”
(*Israel bonds are not rated)