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Alka Banerjee, Vice President of Global Equity Indices at S&P Indices

Standard & Poor’s to launch S&P/Harel Sector Indices on the Israeli equity market

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Standard & Poor’s has launched a suite of sector indices covering a broad range of companies within the Israeli equity market. The S&P/Harel Sector Indices will provide investors with a transparent performance benchmark for measuring sector performance within the Israeli equity market, and will serve as the basis for investment products to be launched by Harel on February 23, 2011 and beyond.

 

The S&P/Harel Sector Indices are launched as part of a collaboration agreement entered by the two companies whereby S&P launches new sector indices for the Israeli market and Harel issues investment products which track the new Indices. On February 23rd, 2011, Harel will issue two investment products which track the following indices:  the S&P/ Harel TA Energy Index; and the S&P/ Harel TA Telecommunication Index.

“With the launch of these Indices, Israeli investors will have access to S&P Indices full range of indexing capabilities essential to both measuring asset classes and for serving as the basis for investment products,” says Alka Banerjee (pictured), Vice President at S&P Indices. “Our full expectation is that these Indices will be the first of a family of indices serving both Israeli investors and those from outside of Israel looking to access this market.”

Standard & Poor’s has been publishing, calculating and producing indices for over 85 years. Its family of indices covers a wide range of the world’s asset classes from equities and fixed income to commodities and real-estate. Approximately, USD4.83 trillion is directly benchmarked to Standard & Poor’s indices.

“S&P’s choice of Harel Sal as the exclusive issuer of investment products for S&P’s sector indices is a vote of confidence in Harel and, positions us on a par with some of the global leaders,” says Sammy Babkov, CEO of Harel Financial Group. “We are proud to collaborate with the leading player in the global arena and excited about the opportunity to play an active role in developing and upgrading the Israeli investment capabilities while providing unprecedented exposure for Israeli indices worldwide.”

Uri Schur, Harel Sal CEO, says: “The new cross-sector indices provide a much needed economic sector rationale. At the same time, Harel’s new investment products allow customized asset allocation according to the client’s investments needs. The new indices will enable employing investment strategies suitable for developed markets. With Israel’s recently joining this category, we will now be able to let investors reduce/manage risks through diversification of an entire sector instead of to one or two correlated companies.”

Each index within the S&P/Harel Sector Indices is made up of 12, 15, 20 or 25 of the largest eligible publicly traded Israeli companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) within industry sectors and sub-industries as defined by GICS®, the Global Industry Classification Standard. There are currently 2 indices comprising the suite of S&P/Harel Sector Indices: S&P/Harel TA Energy Index, and S&P/ Harel TA Telecommunications Index.

“We are very excited to bring our world renowned index capabilities to Israel,” says Dorit Salingar, Head of Standard & Poor’s in Israel. “Standard & Poor’s indices are designed to the highest global standards and will help the globalisation of Israel’s financial markets, increasing transparency and sophistication of the local market. This is yet another stage in Standard & Poor’s expansion of its operations in Israel, bringing state-of-the-art products and services to Israeli investors and financial institutions, as well as to global investors.”

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