Bank Hapoalim is the strongest economic body in the Israeli economy, according to the strength index for 2007 as part of Dun and Bradstreet Israel's Dun's 100 ranking.
Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) reached the second spot, while Teva dropped to the third spot after topping the list last year.
Bank Hapoalim made the highest profit in the Israeli economy in the first nine months of 2006 – approximately USD 577.2 million, compared to about USD 499.3 in the same period in 2005, and went up one spot compared to last year's ranking.
ICL went up four spots, to the second place, making approximately USD 283.8 million in the first nine months of 2006.
Pharmaceutical giant Teva dropped to the third place, but according to Dun's 100 economists, this drop does not testify to a problem in Teva's dealings in the past year but is the result of one-time expenses following the acquisition of the Ivax company.
D&B economists said Teva continues to build its international strength while making in the midst of acquisitions and mergers, and it is reasonable to assume that in 2007 it will top the profit ranking as well as the strength index.
Like in 2005, Bank Leumi was ranked at the fourth place, while Bank Discount went up three spots to the 12th place.
An analysis of the ranking reveals that the aggregated value of the top 100 companies in Israel reached approximately USD 120 billion, compared to about USD 100 billion last year, a rise of 20 percent.
An annual growth of 23 percent was noted in the aggregated income of the 100 companies to USD 86 billion, but there was also a drop of 10 percent in the net profit of the 100 companies to USD 6.3 billion.
Dun's 100 economists noted that D&B's strength index examined the financial strength of Israeli companies. The ranking is based on four parameters: The company's income, net profit, equity capital and market value.