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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#Israeli #Tech Firms Ahead of the Curve; Joshua Kaplan, Senior Research Analyst at BlueStar Indexes Shares Insight on Opportunities for #Investors

#Israeli #Tech Firms Ahead of the Curve; Joshua Kaplan, Senior Research Analyst at BlueStar Indexes Shares Insight on Opportunities for #Investors

#Stocks Discussed: $MLNX, $ATTU, $ORBK, $LPSN, $DSPG, $ICL

Point Roberts, WA, Delta BC – July 19, 2016 –, a global news source and investor resource covering actively traded sectors including tech stocks interviews Joshua Kaplan, Senior Research Analyst at BlueStar Indexes. Josh talks about the tech sector and publicly traded Israeli tech firms that are ahead of the curve in big data, the Internet of Things, cyber security and water.

Josh also discusses their indexes and the ET’s that track them, providing investors an opportunity to invest in Israeli technology.

Talking about the formation of his firm, Josh said, “The vision of the company was based on a demand for investing in Israeli stocks by pro-Israeli institutional investors in the US. We looked at why the investment opportunity was lacking and we found there was a limited number of investment vehicles for them to use and the indexes that benchmarked Israeli stocks missed the mark on many fronts.“

To fill the gap, he told us, “We have built a family of five indexes that are calculated in real time. All of our indexes use a global approach to indexing Israeli stocks which means that we don’t invest just based on that they are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.  When you do that, you miss out on the most exciting investment case for Israel - which is the technology sector.

We have launched two ETF’s in the US tracking our indexes. One we licensed to VanEck that has created an ETF traded under the symbol (NYSEArca: ISRA), that tracks our broad Israel index for all sectors. Last year we partnered with a firm called ETF Managers Group and launched our own index based on tech stocks, traded under the symbol ITEQ - the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange also partnered with us on that index last year.  In addition to the ETF’s in the US there are five mutual funds tacking our index in Israel.

We have not limited our tech index to information technology. We wanted every interesting sector Israel is part of including defense technology, biopharma, biotech and cleantech.”

When looking at Israeli stocks he said, “Most of Israel’s expertise is based on a history of communications technology and everything stems off of that.”

“Communications equipment is anything internet-related or machine-to-machine communications. Any sector related to that is now being commercialized. It was technology being used by military and government.  We are looking at cybersecurity, big data, management analytics, Internet of Things and a lot of technology hardware that enables a lot of this.”

Some specific companies he shares thoughts on:

“Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX) is one of the leading providers of data connectivity solutions. They are developers of internet cables, switches and they are also the only competitor to Intel with a technology called InfiniBand. Why is that important? …Mellanox is the first and only company to offer 100 Gigabit per second end to end connectivity for data centers and the first company to commercialize the technology. It is extremely important because anything that is going over the internet or over the cloud, especially things that use a ton of bandwidth or have to collect data from data bases from servers around the globe that have to be to communicate with each other at faster and faster speeds – 100 Gigabit per second is really a revolutionary thing for data centers. “

“Another company that is much smaller, that is related, is Attunity, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ATTU), a software company.  In a way I can draw a parallel between Mellanox and Attunity, where Mellanox is the hardware connectivity and Attunity is the software enabling transfer.”
“In order for us to be able to use Microsoft Office 365 and to collaborate across the world, there has to be some sort of database engine that is updating information in real-time. So if I update a document on my computer here or if I download what I am working on, a massive database of big retailers changing the pricing structure for example, I want to make sure my databases all around the world are updated at the same time. We are talking about terabytes of data and it’s really not that easy to accomplish. Attunity is arguably the best of breed in that technology.

Attunity, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ATTU) is a company I have been following for a long time. It is exemplary of Israeli companies, where they are ahead of the curve and it takes awhile for the market to pick up on their products and the capital markets to pick up on the story of the stock.”

Other companies he likes include Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK), which he says “is a very interesting and important small cap company. They have two main lines of business. They do what is called automated optical inspection for PCB manufacturers and flat panel display manufacturers; the other line of business is semiconductor packaging - both extremely important industries in the technology supply chain today.”

LivePerson Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN) is a dual-listed software solution company that was the first company to do online customer engagement and DSP Group Inc. (NASDAQ:DSPG) are also on his suggested watch list.

When talking about technology in the water sector, he said there is innovation in the space but there are no specific publicly traded companies for investors to follow.  He said Israel Chemicals Ltd. (NYSE: ICL), a dual-listed company is a desalination company that exports technology.

When asked about what he sees in the IPO pipeline he said there is nothing to mention for 2016. ”For the first time we are not seeing any companies entering the public market.”

In closing Josh said the focus for the next few years is on revenue growth for all the companies they follow.    

BIO: Joshua Kaplan is a Senior Research Analyst at BlueStar Global Investors LLC where he serves as the primary technical expert on index construction and the underlying holdings. Joshua has several years of experience in the investment management industry and holds the FINRA Series 7 license.
Prior to joining the BlueStar team in late 2011, he worked as an equity research analyst for an Israel-based hedge fund which was an affiliate of Fortissimo Capital. His time with Fortissimo was split, living both in Tel Aviv and New York, and he remains very involved with Israeli markets and clients today.
Joshua graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Economics.

BlueStar Israel Global Index® (BIGI)
BIGI is a broad based benchmark of Israeli equities trading globally. Index constituents must be considered by BlueStar to be Israeli and have a float-adjusted market capitalization of at least $75 million USD. The index is a modified market-cap weighted index with a maximum constituent weight of 12.5%. The index is calculated and disseminated by Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Indexes under the ticker BLSTR.

TASE-BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index® (TA-BIGITech)
TA-BIGITech is a benchmark for Israeli high-tech companies trading globally. Index constituents must be involved in an innovative or high-tech sector, considered by BlueStar to be Israeli and have a float-adjusted market capitalization of at least $60 million. The index is a modified market-cap weighted index with a maximum constituent weight of $10%. The index is calculated and disseminated by Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Indexes under the ticker BGTHTR.

TA-BIGITech ® is tracked by BlueStar TA-BIGITech ® Israel Technology ETF (ITEQ)

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