BlueStar Indexes, a provider of Israel-focused investment strategies, announced the launch of the first product to track its flagship index, the BlueStar Israel Global Index (“BIGI”). The Market Vectors Israel ETF began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ISRA. The ETF uses BIGI, which BlueStar licensed to the ETF’s sponsor, Van Eck Associates, as its benchmark.
The BlueStar Israel Global Index provides a benchmark for investors to track the broadest and deepest universe of Israeli equities. Constructed using BlueStar Indexes’ innovative methodology, BIGI includes public companies, from large to mid-cap, that meet the index’s liquidity standards and other “investability” criteria. The index – produced in collaboration with the International Securities Exchange – includes Israeli companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and on other exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange.
BlueStar Indexes Founder and Chief Investment Officer Steven Schoenfeld said, “We are thrilled to be partnered with Market Vectors to introduce a diversified and complete benchmark for Israeli Global Equities to investors.”
“I’m confident that BIGI and ISRA will become the standard for allocation to Israeli stocks and will add an important new vehicle to investors’ toolkits,” he added.
BlueStar Indexes is a subsidiary of BlueStar Global Investors LLC, a research-focused financial firm that specializes in the Israeli capital markets. BlueStar’s mission is to develop investment strategies that provide global institutional and retail investors efficient access to the full range of Israeli asset classes.
BlueStar’s research shows that Israeli public companies provide a compelling investment opportunity. Israel’s economy benefits from emerging market-style growth and the stability that comes with its developed market status. Israel ascended to the OECD in 2010 because of its free market principles and consistent pro-market reform policies. FTSE upgraded it to developed market status in 2009 and MSCI in 2010. Israel’s sovereign debt has very high credit ratings with stable outlooks, and the country has a relatively low and declining gross public debt-to-GDP at 73% as of the end of 2012.
Israel’s GDP has outpaced the average GDP of the OECD member nations every year since 2004. It was one of only four OECD members to have positive GDP growth in 2008 and 2009, during the global financial crisis.
Israel is a leader in the high-tech, biotech, defense-tech and agritech industries, and it is an emerging player in global energy markets, achieving the largest discovery of natural gas in the world in the past decade. Israeli technology – from companies such as Check Point Systems, Mellanox Technologies, Elbit Systems, Ituran Location, NICE Systems and Verifone – has global reach, providing components in many everyday products like smartphones, internet and communications devices, perimeter security technology and point-of-sale devices.
The BlueStar Israel Global Index is the first benchmark to fully capture the complete range of companies that undergird Israel’s economic success.
For more information, please visit www.bluestarindexes.com.