19 December 2018 - 11 Tevet 5779 - י"א טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
HSBC sets up a China Desk in Israel E-mail

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) disclosed in May that it has set up a China Desk in Israel to encourage trade and investment flows between China and Israel.

HSBC’s China Desk in Israel will help China and Israel co-operate across a number of sectors, including Internet, cleantech and healthcare. “China is shifting its economy from heavy industry and traditional manufacturing to one that is driven by services, technology and advanced manufacturing. This transition is complemented by Israel’s internationally recognised strength in innovation,” an HSBC spokesperson said.

Launched in 2012, HSBC’s China Desks have been established on six continents, including 11 in markets in Asia-Pacific, five in Europe, five in the Middle East and Africa and four in the Americas.

These desks cover more than 40 markets around the world, with some providing support to Chinese clients in multiple countries or territories. They provide HSBC’s Chinese clients with solutions in overseas markets that include strategic advisory, financing, hedging solutions and cash and liquidity management.

The new office will bolster HSBC’s existing presence in Israel, where the bank has been operating with a full banking licence since 2001.

The expansion of HSBC’s China Desks to Israel and other countries comes as the Chinese government works to refashion the flow of global commerce with its “One Belt One Road” initiative, a development plan to connect China with Europe, the Middle East and Africa through massive spending on infrastructure.

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Bangkok Bank to partner with OurCrowd E-mail

Israel-based Equity crowd funding company OurCrowd Ltd is partnering with Bangkok Bank Public Company Ltd., Thailand’s largest bank, OurCrowd announced last month.

Through the partnership, the two sides hope to connect OurCrowd’s portfolio companies with interested investors and customers working with the bank, OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said.

With a dominant presence in Thailand, and overseas presence in Southeast Asia including China, Bangkok Bank has around 17 million customer accounts and total assets of US$102 billion.

Jerusalem-based OurCrowd offers accredited investors a way to participate in investments in pre-vetted startups. Of the firm’s 150 current portfolio companies, around 70% are Israel-based, but the firm has been steadily increasing its global reach since it was founded in 2013, and has to date raised over US$700 million from almost 25,000 investors in over 150 countries, according to its statements.

In 2015, OurCrowd started expanding to Asia, inking partnerships with financial institutes including Mumbaibased wealth management company Reliance Private Client; Hong Kong-based CITIC Pacific, a subsidiary of Beijing-headquartered, statebacked CITIC Group Corporation Ltd.; Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd., and China’s Shanghai Commercial Savings Bank.

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Canon acquires Israel-based Briefcam E-mail

Israel-based BriefCam, a provider of video content and analytical solutions, reported on 9 May its acquisition by Japan’s Canon Inc., a world leader in digital imaging solutions. No official purchase price or deal amount was mentioned in its press statement.

The addition of BriefCam to Canon’s market-leading Network Video Solutions products portfolio complements the Canon Group’s previous acquisitions of AXIS Communications and Milestone Systems with a breakthrough, innovative, video content analytics solution.

The acquisition will drive further rapid innovation in video analytics by BriefCam as well as new co-innovation activities with Canon and its portfolio companies. In addition, it will enable BriefCam to enter new markets, deliver stronger vertical solutions, and serve its global customers even more effectively.

BriefCam will continue to remain an open platform, working seamlessly with other thirdparty products in the market ecosystem, providing customers with freedom of choice.

“The acquisition will allow BriefCam to continue to deliver industry leading video content analytics solutions, while remaining a standalone company within the Canon Group,” said Trevor Matz, BriefCam President and CEO. “The opportunity is a testament to the innovative technology we have built, the outstanding team we have assembled, and the rapidly growing business we have created.”

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Thai company purchases Avgol Industries Print E-mail

Thailand-based petrochemical producer Indorama Ventures has agreed to buy a 65.72% stake in Israel’s Avgol Industries for about US$314 million, the companies disclosed recently.

Avgol is a manufacturer of non-wovens for hygiene applications and has a global market share of 10%. Its fabrics are used in diapers and feminine hygiene products. The transaction is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals, an Indorama spokesperson said. Indorama Ventures is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures, said: “We are excited by the unique opportunity to bring Avgol into the Indorama Ventures family as it is a major step into expanding our HVA [High Value-Added] portfolio. With this acquisition, we are adding a company that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and with strong growth prospects. Avgol has already made some significant investments to grow the business by expanding its production capacity and geographical footprint and we hope to capture the benefits and help the company reach further heights. Avgol’s established client base, complementary capabilities and substantial presence in highgrowth markets, together with Indorama Ventures’ global presence, will provide a strong opportunity for creating additional value to best serve all our customers.”

(Issue Jun 2018)

Beijing science park to open liaison office in Tel Aviv E-mail

Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park), also known as “China’s Silicon Valley”, will open a liaison office in Tel Aviv, Israel. The announcement of the planned liaison office was made in a meeting held on 8 April between the Vice Mayor of Beijing, Yin Hejun, and the Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv, Doron Sapir. Also attending the event was a senior delegation from Beijing Municipality and high-level executives of Z-Park.

Beijing and Tel Aviv have been twin cities for the past 20 years, and in recent years the co-operation between the cities has increased dramatically in areas such as technology, municipal knowledge exchange, education, culture, art and more. The opening of a formal Beijing office for economy, hi-tech and science issues in Tel Aviv is an indication of the strengthening of the relations between the two cities.

Z-Park’s liaison office in Tel Aviv will serve as the initial base for Chinese companies seeking to do business in Israel, and for Israeli companies seeking business opportunities in China.

Sapir commented: “Beijing and Tel Aviv, like China and Israel, are completely different in size, but share many common values: adopting technology and modernisation, cherishing education, and striving to always improve our municipal systems. The Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, has defined the relationship with Beijing as a prime strategic goal for our foreign relations. In recent years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of delegations and visits from Beijing to Tel Aviv and vice versa. The opening of an economic office of Beijing here in Tel Aviv is an important development that we welcome with pleasure.”

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