Nineteen businessmen and their families control 34 percent of the income of Israel's 500 leading companies, figures released Thursday by Business Data Israel show.
According to the figures, Israel's rich shared an income of NIS 248 billion ($57.4 billion) of a total of NIS 722 billion ($172 billion) in income generated by Israel's top 500 companies. The figure is equal to 88 percent of last year's state budget.
The Dankner, Tshuva, Azrieli, Weisman, Saban, Arison, Bino, Federman, Borovich, Leviev, Hamburger, Fishman, Strauss, Wertheim, and Alovich families are among the 19 families who control the bulk of Israeli business.
The Azrieli family joined the club of powerful business lords last year with its purchase of stakes in Granite Ha-Carmel Investments Ltd, acquiring controlling shares in Tambour, Sonol and Supergas.
The Alovich family purchased Zahav lines from Eliezer Fishman and joined the top-19 club.
The Wertheimer family exited the club, which numbered 18 in 2005, with the sale of 80 percent of Iscar to American investment mogul Warren Buffet.
The Dankner family increased its stake in the income generated by Israel's leading companies to 18.7 percent through the purchase of Koor Industries, higher than any other family.