Investor Ideas Talks to Steven Schoenfeld, founder and CIO of BlueStar Indexes
Stocks Discussed: $ESLT, $ICL, $CHKP, $RDWR, $CYBR, $SKBN, $PTBL
Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - April 27, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including tech and defense talks to Steven Schoenfeld, founder and CIO of BlueStar Indexes.
Hear the full interview/podcast:
According to Steven Schoenfeld, founder and CIO of BlueStar Indexes, investment prospects in Israel look very promising despite continuing geopolitical uncertainties in the Middle East.
With ISIS and the Syrian Civil War devastating large parts of the Middle East, it might be off-putting for investors to consider the region. Schoenfeld said, however, that the recent U.S. missile strikes in Syria and the potential for renewed American involvement is a positive thing for Israeli investment.
"When America is assertive, and asserting its values, it tends to reflect well on Israel and Israel's sense of security," he said.
One of the most significant reasons for optimism is Israel's strengthening ties with India. This was demonstrated by Israel's recent, and largest ever, defense deal with India worth $2 billion. In addition to this, Schoenfeld says that India increasingly relies on Israel for non-military goods and services.
"With regard to trade with India, aside from defense---and Elbit Systems (ESLT) is one of the key beneficiaries---agriculture and trade in agriculture are beneficiaries," he said. "One of Israel's biggest companies is called Israel Chemicals (ICL), they're located right on the Dead Sea. That's where they have a competitive advantage with the minerals that the Dead Sea produces. A huge part of their market is India and we would expect that to grow."
Another sign that the two countries are forming a stronger connection is Indian prime minister Modi's upcoming state visit to Israel in July.
"The fact that Prime Minister [Modi] is so publicly going to be making a state visit to Israel, it's like a coming-out party for this relationship, and it's a signal, particularly to Indian industry, that there's a big green light for increased trade and investment. One of the items on the agenda is going to be negotiations for a free trade area. It's very powerful and goes well beyond defense."
Schoenfeld also talked about the significance of Israel's recently discovered Mediterranean gas fields and a proposed 2,000 kilometre undersea pipeline that will connect Israeli energy to European markets through Cyprus and Greece.
"Israel has gone from being a very dependent energy importer to being very close to self-sufficiency. Soon it's going to be an exporter, so much so that it's not only going to serve all of Israel's needs, some of neighbours including Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, but it will be able to export to Europe."
"This is important to Europe, because Europe has been dependent on Russian gas and Russia has not been hesitant to subtly or not-so-subtly threaten energy supplies for political reasons. So it's very important strategically for Europe to have an alternative source."
Schoenfeld also emphasized the continuing importance of Israeli cyber security firms.
"Israel is one of the world's leaders in cyber security attracting 15 per cent or more of global investment in cyber security. Check Point (CHKP) is a pioneer of cyber security, they in fact invented the term Firewall. Radware (RDWR), CyberArk (CYBR) - these are large cyber security companies and in the field of actionable intelligence."
Schoenfeld also talked about important real estate and construction companies to watch in Israel as they continue to grow in significance.
"One of the biggest is Shikun & Binui (SKBN), another is Property & Building (PTBL). These are not well known stocks to global investors."
Schoenfeld said that in light of all these factors, it is a very opportune time to consider investing in Israel.
"I think most investors will see that they have very little Israel, and very little Israel tech in their portfolios. To take a slice of your allocation and allocate it to Israeli equities through one of the two ETFs that track our indexes makes a lot of sense. We see the momentum of more investors looking at it and we hope that your readers will consider it as well."
Interview by Samuel Mowers, freelance writer for Investorideas.com
BlueStar Indexes is a financial firm that specializes in developing and commercializing indexes and ETFs with a focus on the Israeli capital markets. BlueStar's mission is to provide global institutional and retail investors with thoughtfully designed proprietary and custom investment strategies for efficiently accessing the full range of Israeli asset classes. https://bluestarindexes.com/
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