True to its promise, ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P) raised its rating for Israel from A+ to AA-. S&P citing Israel’s steady economic growth and improved debt outlook. AA- is Israel’s highest ever rating from any international rating agency and will save billions in interest repayments.
China’s Hainan airlines has just commenced its new direct service between Tel Aviv and the South China city of Guangzhou. Hainan already operates direct flights from Israel to both Beijing and Shanghai and is to add Shenzhen. Chinese tourism increased by 41% in 2017 compared to 2016.
United Airlines is marking its 20th year of service to Israel with the first ever nonstop flight between Washington Dulles International airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. The three-times-a-week service commences on 22nd May 2019.
Due to open early in 2019, Eilat’s new Ilan and Assaf Ramon International airport is expected to service 2 million passengers annually.
British energy company Centrica has co-led a $12 million funding round for Israeli startup Driivz. Driivz develops and sells cloud-based electric vehicle charging network management software. Already over 200,000 drivers make use of the service.
Israeli equity crowdfunding company OurCrowd’s Labs/02 incubator has joined with Korean VC firms Development Trusts NI and Yozma Kore to help setup startups in both countries. Labs/02 focuses on technology startups in AI, deep learning, autonomous transportation and smart cities.
Funds raised by Israeli high-tech companies in the first half of the year soared to an all-time record of $3.2 billion - higher than the annual total capital raised in the full years between 2010 and 2013. The growth of investment from China and Europe was significant.
The Israel-India Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) has just awarded its first grants. Israeli startups benefiting are Bacsoft, Ubiqam, Agrosolar and Samoculis. The projects are water/energy, cellular network quality, irrigation and glaucoma surgical devices.
I reported previously on the technology of Israel’s DouxMatok that makes sugar sweeter and reduces the amount required to be added to products. Now Germany’s Südzuckee is to set up production, joint marketing and sales of DouxMatok sugar to Europe.
The Israel Hotel Investment Summit (19-20 Nov) in Tel Aviv provides an in-depth analysis of the business opportunities within the Israel hospitality sector. With only 55,000 rooms for 3.6 million visitors, the market looks interesting for investors, developers, operators and advisors.