Partner to pay NIS 14.4m in court settlement

Cell phone operator Partner Communications agreed to a settlement with customers who filed a class action suit that will see it pay NIS 14.4 million to various non-profit organizations, and in the form of benefits to the plaintiffs. The settlement reached in Jerusalem District Court last week came from a 2008 suit by a couple who had bought a phone service and maintenance contract but found they were charged for repairs that were supposed to be covered. Most of the plaintiffs will be entitled to a NIS 70 voucher to buy Partner products or NIS 25 cash. Because some of the subscribers covered in the suit could not be identified, the court ordered Partner to donate NIS 1 million to non-profits. (Yasmin Gueta )

Television advertising grew 15% in first quarter

The television advertising market took a turn for the better in the first quarter as the number of minutes at peak viewing hours rose 15% from the same time last year for broadcasters. Channel 2 franchisees Reshet and Keshet each saw a 9% increase during prime time to 36.3 and 33.3 minutes, respectively. Channel 10 enjoyed a 17% average rise but its total minutes averaged just 28.3 and didn't sell all the time it had available. Reshet also saw a big rise in ratings thanks to programs like "The Voice" and "Irreversible." Discounting the effect of pre-Passover ads, which occurred this year in the first quarter and last year in the second quarter, ad revenue probably rose 15% in the three months, TV industry sources said. (Nati Tucker )

Insurers pay NIS 350m to 'missing' policy holders

The Finance Ministry said yesterday that eight insurance companies had paid some NIS 350 million to policy holders and beneficiaries with whom they had lost contact. The companies had been ordered to act after Insurance Commission Oded Sarig found that they had failed to meet their commitments to finding the recipients, the treasury said. Among them three were penalized, with Clal Insurance fined NIS 1.6 million, Menorah NIS 937,000 and ILDC Insurance NIS 525,000 for failure in ensuring payment on policies that had expired or where the holder had died. (Assa Sasson )

Startup launches equity analyst rating service

Israel-based TipRanks has launched a free online platform aimed at individual investors which scores equity analysts based on their published recommendations. The "financial accountability engine" collects any digitally published stock recommendation and ranks over 5,000 analysts by performance so that investors can see their success rate. The company, founded less than a year ago, has had 1,000 users in the last six weeks mainly in the United States testing the product. ( Reuters )