Israeli companies have taken a firm footing on the 'Forbes 2000' list of the world's largest and best-run businesses, with three more listings than last year. Teva Pharmaceutical tops the Israeli list of 13 companies. Forbes ranked the firms according to rate of growth, long-term forecasts and quality of management.
Turkey, where the population is more than 10 times that of Israel, also posted 13 companies. The United States led the pack, as usual, but companies from 62 other countries made the list, including 100 from Japan, 94 from Britain and 94 from China.
Teva Pharmaceutical dropped from last year's 346th position to 381st place but outranked all other firms from the Jewish State. Teva is the world's largest generic drug maker, and its shares have been remarkably stable during the past year's stock market crash. USB investment analysts have estimated that Teva will enjoy increased purchases of generic drugs during the recession. Merrill Lynch also has recommended buying the stock.
Teva was last quoted on Thursday on the NASDAQ exchange at 46.42, near its all-time high of $50. American markets were closed on Friday for a holiday and will re-open on Monday.
The second and third largest Israeli firms on the Forbes 2000 list are Bank Leumi and Bank HaPoalim, followed by the Delek fuel and energy company and the IDB holding Corporation.
Four Israeli newcomers on the list are Bezeq, Africa Israel Investments - headed by Lev Levayev, Check Point Software Technology and the Gazit-Globe real estate conglomerate. Israeli Oil Refineries, which suffered a sharp decline in revenues from the recent fall in fuel prices, was dropped from the list.