JERUSALEM, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which has been suffering from a decline in trading volumes and company listings, did not meet its goals for 2016, but is hoping for a boost following major reforms in the coming year, it said on Wednesday.
While 2016 saw a 28 percent rise in the amount raised in Tel Aviv through public offerings, only three companies carried out IPOs and three companies dual listed, while daily trade volume decreased by six percent, according to a year end statement.
"The main role of the stock exchange is to allow companies to raise capital for further growth and development, to create liquidity and tradibility of its securities, and to effectively engage the public," the statement said. "Those goals were not achieved in the past year.
Tel Aviv's bond market, on the other hand, was strong, with a record 60.5 billion shekels ($15.7 billion) of debt issues and an 8 percent jump in trading volumes for corporate bonds, it said.
The exchange said it had "turned over every stone" in trying to find ways to attract more investors and companies, including easing regulations for technology firms and offering tax breaks for small and medium sized companies.
A plan to revamp its main indexes, making them more stable and less risky, will take effect at the beginning of 2017, the statement said, "and we are certain this will help increase tradibility, reduce concentration of the indexes and solve other problems in the leading indexes."
The statement also said the exchange's leadership hoped it would finally become a for-profit body in 2017. The bourse has been planning the move for a couple years, saying privatisation was key to its revival.
$1 = 3.8489 shekels Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Potter