Ruth Parasol
Ruth Parasol Photo by Arizak
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Priciest home sold in 2012: NIS 72 million for house in Herzliya Pituah

A 10-room, 1,000-square-meter house in Herzliya Pituah was recently bought by Israeli-American businesswoman Ruth Parasol for NIS 71.68 million ($18.75 million ), the top price paid for any individual property in Israel during 2012. The villa had been put up for sale by a foreign resident from Belgium. Although the price would seem to warrant beachfront footage, the house is located about a half kilometer from the sea on Kaplan Street. Parasol, 46, who was born and raised in the United States, is moving from her home in Havatzelet Hasharon. Parasol made her fortune from the online gambling company PartyGaming, which she founded. (Nimrod Bousso )

Tradesmen most in demand last year: air conditioner technicians

The service-people most called on by Israelis in 2012 were air conditioning and refrigeration technicians, according to the 2144 website, which totaled up all the service requests received during the year. It received 6,678 calls for the technicians, followed by 6,243 requests for movers and 4,479 requests for the services of housepainters and renovators. Other tradesmen in high demand were plumbers, carpenters, veterinarians, electricians, waste-disposal specialists and, finally, gas technicians at the bottom of the top-10 list with 1,676 requests. Less in demand were gardeners and glaziers, as well as tow-truck operators, who fielded only 1,203 calls through the website. "Tradesmen like air conditioning technicians and movers can earn a good living if they market and manage themselves properly," according to 2144. (Hila Weissberg )

Antitrust head OKs cooperative business news venture between Globes and Maariv

Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo has given the green light to financial newspaper Globes and Makor Rishon Hameuchad-Hatzofe, publisher of the daily Maariv, to embark on a joint venture. The deal calls for Globes to produce daily and weekend economic supplements for the Maariv newspaper. According to the agreement, the Maariv publisher will buy financial and economic content from Globes, which will appear in a supplement to the daily edition of Maariv and the Friday editions of Maariv and Makor Rishon. The content will also be available on Maariv's NRG website. About six months ago the Antitrust Tribunal ruled that Eliezer Fishman, 67% owner of Globes, must sell his 9% stake in the Yedioth Ahronoth group because the cross-holdings constitute a monopolistic merger in the financial newspaper market shared by Globes, Yedioth's Calcalist, and TheMarker. But at the same time it ruled that the general dailies, including Maariv and Makor Rishon, can't be considered substitute products for the financial newspapers, a ruling that proved a major factor in Gilo's decision to allow the joint venture between Maariv/Makor Rishon and Globes. (Nati Tucker )

Storm knocks containers off Zim ship into Ashdod Port, threatening power station

During the stormy weather Wednesday night, 26 shipping containers fell off the Zim Constanza cargo ship at Ashdod Port. Some were smashed open when they fell on the breakwater off the coast. Contents from the containers, including children's toys and automobile seats, spilled into the Mediterranean. Some items were sucked into the input pumps of the nearby Eshkol power station, which draws in seawater for cooling. Employees of Israel Electric Corporation cleared the items from the pump filters to ensure that the plant could keep operating. Employees of the Environmental Protection Ministry's Marine and Coastal Environment Division are examining the contents of the remaining containers.In a statement, port officials said that to prevent an accident, the chief navigator put the Zim Constanza outside the harbor after the ship's mooring lines gave way. The containers fell during the piloting operation and will be recovered when the weather permits.For now, small ships are allowed to enter and leave the port. The movements of larger vessels are determined on a case-by-case basis. (Itai Trilnick )