The Department of International Affairs and Business Development implements the ISA’s strategy for adjusting its activity to globalization and for opening Israeli capital markets to world-leading markets.
The department promotes the implementation of international standards in Israeli securities laws to enhance the attraction of the Israeli market among investors and foreign firms and operates in varied ways to encourage the entrance of prominent bodies in the global financial industry to Israel. Additionally, the department actively participates in the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) work and is responsible for tightening the cooperation between the ISA and other regulatory bodies in foreign jurisdictions.
The Department is responsible for handling all international facets of the ISA's work, including serving as a liaison with foreign supervisory bodies, foreign exchanges, international organizations and securities authorities around the world, including signing memorandum of understanding for cooperation with those authorities and entities. The department also operates to externalize the advantages of the Israeli public capital market and to promote the recognition of foreign authorities and exchanges in Israeli securities laws, to expand the accessibility of domestic market to international investors and financial institutes.
International activity is a key pillar in the goals that constitute the ISA’s strategic plan, including maintaining a fair market, enhancing the public market, advancing technological innovation and promoting competition in the capital market.
The Department pursues these goals in three main ways:
First, by harmonizing the Israeli securities laws with existing legislation in leading countries, while adjusting it – as far as possible – to the local regulatory infrastructure. International financial activity requires unifying regulatory requirements in areas under the ISA's purview. Organizations such as IOSCO and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) strive to create uniform international policies and rules, to be adopted by its member entities, including the ISA. In recent years, the ISA promoted new regulations in diverse areas under its scope (credit rating agencies, corporate governance, crowdfunding platforms, administrative enforcement, etc.) according to international advanced standards.
Second, by incorporating the ISA into cooperation processes forged between supervision and enforcement entities in the field of securities worldwide. In this context, the ISA cooperates extensively with foreign authorities, which are party to the IOSCO Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding for consultation and cooperation and exchange of information. This agreement allows the exchange of non-public information between authorities, as well as mutual assistance in implementing enforcement activities. The ISA regularly receives and sends Requests for Assistance from foreign regulators under this MoU to cooperate in implementing enforcement activities. In addition, the department works to expand collaboration regarding innovation and financial technology (fintech), both by signing bilateral MoUs with other authorities and by participating in international forums and groups dedicated to technological challenges and risks.
Third, by strengthening global connections of the Israeli capital market to international markets, including encouraging foreign investors and enhancing the accessibility of Israeli firms. One of the key tools endorsed by the ISA in this regard is the Dual Listing arrangement. In recent years, the ISA promoted the expansion of the Dual Listing arrangement to additional exchanges, including the Singapore Exchange (SGX) (the agreement included mutual recognition in the Israeli regulation), the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). These arrangements allow listed firms on these exchanges to be simultaneously listed in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In upcoming years, the department will work to develop additional measures to enhance the attractiveness of local markets for foreign investors and encourage the activity of international financial institutions in Israel.