The rise of Hamas to power in the Palestinian Authority will not adversely affect business in Israel, it is unlikely to create an economic crisis in Israel, such as occurred during the intifada, and will not even affect foreign investment in Israel, says Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq:TEVA; TASE:TEVA) chairman Eli Hurvitz.
Hurvitz believes that an improvement is even possible, because of Hamas’s ability to control terrorism in the Palestinian territories, in contrast to the ineffectiveness of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen). Hurvitz went on to say, “The moment they begin to bend, we’ll start talking with them.”
Hurvitz said, “On behalf of the optimists, I say, ‘So it happened.’ Many bad things happen to us in business all the time, but a good manager knows how to create opportunities from trouble. It’s easier to solve a black-and-white problem than a problem in shades of grey. The question is whether the world is with us.”
The answer to this question, said Hurvitz is clearly shown in comments by the US leadership, including President George W. Bush, but also statements made yesterday by senior EU leaders, whom Hurvitz said, “are speaking as if we were doing the talking.”
Hurvitz added, “I think the negative effect attributed to Hamas’s rise is greatly exaggerated. It will have no effect whatsoever on foreign investment. The sale of $2 billion worth of Teva bonds in the US was not affected, and no buyer even raised the subject.”
Hurvitz is convinced, however, that, “Hamas does not threaten Israel’s existence. It is more likely that they will control terrorism than during the period of Abu-Mazen, who could not do it.” If terrorism wreaks havoc, adds Hurvitz, “Will terrorism break us? Bombs don’t explode elsewhere in the world?”
This morning, Hurvitz chaired a panel of managers of large Israeli companies on mergers and acquisitions at D&B Israel. The panel was part of D&B Israel’s 2005 “strength” ranking of Israel’s 100 largest enterprises. The “strength” ranking of companies is based on market value, net profit, equity, and operating revenue.
Teva led the 2005 “strength” ranking, followed by Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), Bank Hapoalim (LSE:BKHD; TASE:POLI), Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: CHIM), Bank Leumi (TASE:LUMI), Israel Corp. (TASE:ILCO), Oil Refineries Ltd., Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE:DOX), Bezeq The Israel Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ), and IDB Development Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBD.
In the 11th to 20th rankings are MA Industries (Makhteshim Agan Ltd.) (TASE:MAIN), Comverse Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: CMVT), Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings Ltd. (TASE:MGDL), Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS), Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. (TASE: DISI), and Cellcom Israel Ltd..
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on January 30, 2006