Business in Brief
Intel awarding bonuses of 2.6 times salary to Israeli staff
The 8,100 employees of Intel Israel are due to get an annual bonus equal to 2.6 times their salaries, even though the company globally turned in disappointing results in 2012. The bonus is smaller than the three times salary employees received for 2011 but bigger than the two times they received for 2010. Last Thursday, the American maker of semiconductors forecast quarterly revenues that disappointed Wall Street and sharply higher capital spending for 2013, with investors already concerned about slow demand for personal computers. Intel posted a fourth-quarter drop in revenue to $13.5 billion from $13.9 billion a year earlier. In the second quarter, employees at the company’s Kiryat Gat plant received a special bonus for their work in launching the Ultrabook chip.
Cellrox raises $4.5m in financing round led by Russian investor
Cellrox, a start-up whose technology enables the co-hosting of two or more virtual environments on a single mobile device, has raised $4.7 million from investors led by Russia’s Runa Capital. Other investors included Previz Venture Partners and Columbia Technology Ventures. The company will use the money to extend its collaboration with equipment manufacturers and operators to market its technology to the world’s biggest companies. Cellrox’s product lets employees and companies share a single mobile device without compromising security by creating a wall between the employee’s applications and the company’s data and applications. Yesterday’s round was the second for the company, which had previously raised $1.5 million.
Inflationary expectations edged higher in past 30 days
Inflationary expectations edged up in the past month, although they remain close to the midpoint of the government’s target range of 1% to 3%, the Bank of Israel said yesterday. Bond yields pointed to inflation over the next 12 months of 2.3%, versus 2.2% in November and December. Among economists polled by the central bank, the outlook is for inflation of 2% in the next 12 months, up from 1.9% in the previous poll in December. The central bank also reported that M1 money supply rose 3.1% last month after two months of declines, bringing the increase for all 2012 to 9.8% − the highest in three years. Ron Eichel, chief economist at Meitav, said he expected the Bank of Israel to hold the interest rate unchanged next week at 1.75%.
Comverse laying off 120 staff,including 30 in Israel
Comverse, the telecommunications billing company, is dismissing 120 employees, about 30 of them in Israel, as part of a cost-cutting drive launched in September. The company employs 4,000 people globally, of whom 1,500 are in Israel. The layoffs are concentrated in the company’s administrative, financial and personnel divisions − not in research and development. Comverse is contending with slow growth in its voicemail business, which has been hurt by the growing use of text messages, and is building its future on billing services. “We continue to invest vigorously in all areas related to R&D, product development and customer service,” the company said.