Good News, Israel

Compliments of Anglo Raannana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

    (Winston Churchill. The late. PM of the UK during WW2. Author and Historian [see items below])

· Eureka! While the word wasn’t exactly invented by Archimedes he certainly made it famous and its fame is assured because of an intergovernmental initiative established in 1985 that goes by the name, Eureka. It’s a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D and boasts a membership of 40 countries. It approves projects that total €1.5 billion per year and Israel holds the rotating presidency. Why are we not surprised it is after all the country that spends more on R&D per capita than any other!? Israel will now be part of more than one-third of Eureka’s almost 60 projects. And the first meeting ever to be held outside of Europe is being conducted right here in Israel as we write.

· She lives in a village close to the city of Shechem – also known as Nablus – and she went missing. Not GN. Details of Lola’s whereabouts were given to the Israel police, who coordinated the search with their Palestinian counterparts. Lola is a service dog who ‘looks after’ an Israeli teenager with CP. The GN? Some time later, a Palestinian patrol vehicle containing officers, armed police and – Lola, pulled up at the house. To quote one of the Palestinian police officers “When we saw her leap from the vehicle and run towards her owners, we all put ideology aside and were simply moved.” All it took was a lost dog and a young lad with special needs. We can only imagine what could be achieved if only…

· GN swirls around the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and this item is no exception. The Company has acquired Th?ramex, the women’s health products division of Germany’s pharmaceuticals giant, Merck, for €265 million, plus milestone payments. Teva will fund the acquisition from its internal resources. Lucky the enterprise that can dip into the petty cash jar and come up with that sort of cash. Th?ramex offers a wide variety of women’s health products that are sold in 50 countries and will now be available more readily and more cheaply than before.

· If we talk about arch enemies Iran must rank fairly high on Israel’s list. The GN is that Iran was defeated by Israel late last week. Not Israel actually but Alik Gershon, 30, an Israeli chess grandmaster who took the Guinness record for simultaneous chess games from the holder, Iran, at 7 am Friday after a marathon 19-hour series of matches against 520 players, all of them acknowledged masters of the art of this noble game and including Natan Sharansky, famous for a number of things including defeating the great Kasparov. A Guinness representative confirmed the new record. Alik won 86% of the games he played in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. He needed to win at least 80% to seal the record, which previously stood at 500 simultaneous games. The final score? Gershon; 454 victories, 58 ties and 11 defeats. We lost the Humus record to Lebanon and gained a chess record instead. Not a bad swap we’d say.

· A few brief money items:

? Semiconductor manufacturer TowerJazz completed selling its bonds to the public this week. Together with sales to institutional investors, TowerJazz raised $100 million. Demand exceeded supply by $150m.

? Nanette Estates has completed the initial public offering of subsidiary Robyg on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Demand reached 16.8 million shares, which was 5.5 times more than the 3 million shares on offer. The amount raised was roughly NIS 100 million.

? UAS Tactical Systems Ltd., (U-TacS) a joint venture of Elbit Systems Ltd. and Thales UK, has won a $70 million follow-on order for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability for the British Army. Real James Bond stuff.

? The US has granted Israel credit of $3.48bn at a very low rate of interest

? Elbit Systems [again] of America, this time, won a $45.5 million contract from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center to upgrade Cobra helicopters.

? The US Chamber of Commerce launched the first American-Israeli business council last week, and it’s just like the six previous business councils established by the US C of C, with China and some of the largest markets around the world. It’ll give the American businessman the chance to become aware of the vastly growing business between the US and Israel. $78m a day which equals $28.3bn a year.

? Mutual funds are growing together with the TASE. Their aggregate assets under management rose by NIS 1.2 billion last week, half from new investment and half from increase in value

· The European Theatre Convention, a network and advocacy group for theaters across the European continent will hold its annual conference this weekend at the Cameri Theatre in Israel, for the first time ever another first! Theater professionals will gather to discuss a large number of issues concerning the Thespian art and not a boycott in sight.

· Apparently cells in the human body communicate with one another and one of the things they report on is their state of health. Current blood tests for cancer simply indicate whether cancerous cells exist in the bloodstream so a team of scientists have worked out a way of eavesdropping on the conversations between the cells – No kidding? No kidding. – And thereby giving a far more detailed and accurate diagnosis of the presence of different kinds of cancers and tumors as well as other diseases and all this with a straightforward blood test. Well, as far as the patient is concerned it’s simple but the analysis is highly complex and that’s where those brainy boffins from the Haifa Technion come in. See ‘Quote for the Week’ above, to understand why.

· Broadcom a US semiconductor company has already bought five outfits in Israel including three development centers and its most recent acquisition, Dune Networks for $178 million. Until this week, that is, because they have just closed a deal to take over Percello Ltd. right here in Ra’anana, a company that develops system-on-a-chip solutions for femtocells. Broadcom will pay up to $100 million in cash for the enterprise. Femtocells, what are femtocells? We’re pleased you asked. They’re small, low power batteries that give coverage indoors where signals are weak so that people can continue using their mobile devices without losing connectivity [and now you know as much as we do] and Percello produces processors for these femtocells. Does nobody in the US do this? Well they do but see Mr Churchill’s quote above and you’ll understand why Broadcom decided to come to Israel – not once but six times.

· And just in case you thought we’re being boycotted or whatever, here’s our guest list [to date] for Nov/Dec;

    In addition to the hundreds of thousands of tourists, we’ll be hosting: Heads of State from Slovenia, Ukraine Montenegro, Vietnam and a Deputy Head from Russia. Foreign Ministers, ten in all. From Australia, Italy, the UK, Germany, Hungary, Bophuthatswana, Norway, Malta, Gabon and the Ukraine. As well as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Parliament, US Congressmen, Joe Lieberman and Arlen Spektor and one of the most senior members of the Chinese Government. No wonder we’re running short of hotel space. Welcome, one and all.
October 29, 2010 | Comments »

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