Esther Levanon, CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, recently chatted with Steve Forbes and alluded to a possible buyout by the New York Stock Exchange ($NYX) or Nasdaq ($NDAQ). This obviously would be HUGE news as Israel would join the wave of global stock market mergers.
Forbes: Is there any possibility of more formal tie-ups between your exchange and other exchanges? You have a number of agreements with others, but you’re still independent.
Levanon: Yes. And we don’t really know yet. First of all, I believe that there is a place for a home market. And most of the companies are better known in Israel than in other countries. On the other hand “No man is an island” goes for stock exchanges, as well. We haven’t made our mind yet and we don’t know whether we should do it. But we keep very good relationships, if you look at the US, with the New York Stock Exchange and with NASDAQ.
And I explained to both exchanges that we have to do the best we can for our companies. And if it means they want to go to NASDAQ, it’s okay. If it means they want to go to New York Stock Exchange, we are in no way going to make the decision for them. But time will tell. I’m looking into it. It’s something we should look into very carefully. But we are trying to avoid it, and avoid a decision as long as we can.
Listen. Globalization and consolidation are two really strong trends that even the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange can't ignore.
It's clear that Israeli clean tech, Israeli telecom, and Israeli biotech would potentially really gain from such a merger as they are able to build wealth in Israel.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.