Data gathered by Kobi Abramov, head of the research department at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, reveals that in 2001 trade in the 20 most frequently traded shares totaled 74% of total turnover, as opposed to 55% to 60% of total turnover in the previous three years.

Average daily turnover came to NIS 240 million in 2001, down 44% from its total in 2000. This decrease explains why less shares were more frequently traded than others, a phenomenon typical of recession periods in the capital market, in which the market remains partial to the bigger shares and veers away from the mid-sized to small ones.

The market explains the syndrome as a result of the shrinking number of small investors, statistically evident in the reduced participation of the five big banks in stock trading.

In 2001 Teva (TASE: TEVA )was again at the top of the list of most frequently traded shares with an average daily turnover of NIS 31 million, about 10% less than in the year 2000. This data does not include the share's turnover in the U.S. markets, which constitutes 85% of its total turnover.

Teva is followed by Bank Hapoalim(TASE: POLI )with an average daily turnover of NIS 23 million, Bank Leumi Le-Israel(TASE: LUMI )with average daily turnover of NIS 19 million, and that of Bezeq (TASE: BEZQ ), for which average daily turnover was NIS 17.5 million. Stock market data reveals turnover for each of the three shares was down in 2001 from 2000 by about 25% to 40%.

The most eye-catching entry into the list of the top 20 frequently traded stocks was of Partner Communications (TASE: PTNR ) which listed for dual trade in 2001. Average daily turnover for the share in its six months in the local market came to NIS 4.5 million, ranking it 14th on the top 20 list.