Business in Brief: Mylan Feels the Pain as Teva Gets Celebrex Booster

Mutual fund assets pass $57.6 billion mark, Sunflower enjoys a Finn romance, and Strauss has a tasty day on TASE.

Bloomberg

U.S. clears Teva, Mylan for generic versions of painkiller Celebrex

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first generic versions of Pfizer’s anti-inflammatory painkiller Celebrex to Teva Pharmaceuticals and Mylan. Teva, however, will be the only one to enjoy the 180-day “first-to-file” exclusivity for most versions of generic Celebrex, after a U.S. district court denied a motion filed by Mylan seeking to block it. The blockbuster drug, known generically as celecoxib, is used to treat pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other conditions. It was Pfizer Inc.’s fourth best-selling drug last year, with sales of $2.92 billion. Capsules of the drug, generally taken twice a day, can range in price from about $60 to $300 a month, depending on the strength. Teva shares rose 1.4% to close at 176.60 shekels ($50.82) in Tel Aviv yesterday.

Mutual fund assets pass the 200 billion-shekel mark

Israeli mutual fund assets crossed the 200 billion-shekel ($57.6 billion) mark in May after they raised a net 5.5 billion shekels for the month to 207.7 billion shekels, Meitav Dash said yesterday. The funds took in about 20% on a daily basis in May than they have in recent months, with general bond funds raising some 3 billion shekels and government bond funds raising 1.9 billion shekels, Meitav Dash said. Equity funds raised only a net 150 million shekels, it said. Money funds, which invest in short-term debt instruments, had 59 billion shekels under management as of the end of May, with investors redeeming a net 720 million shekels during the month.

Sunflower acquires five Finnish wind farm licenses

Sunflower, an alternative-energy provider, said yesterday it was expanding its European operations after acquiring five licenses to build and operate wind farms in Finland. An 82%-owned unit spent 5 million euros ($6.8 million) to buy the licenses, and will spend an average of 1.6 million euros per megawatt to build the facilities over the next two years. All told, the five farms will produce 100 megawatts of power, Sunflower said. “The current agreement will likely double the company’s electrical-generating capacity in the wind segment as soon as 2016,” said CEO Orly Kyram. “The wind segment in Finland is just getting started, so we plan to continue identifying opportunities for additional investment both in Finland and Poland.” Sunflower shares closed up 1.3% at 10.43 shekels ($3) in Tel Aviv.

Corporate bond sales more than doubled in May to 7.2 billion shekels

Israeli companies raised some 7.2 billion shekels ($2.1 billion) in bonds in the local market during May, far more than double the recent monthly average, a survey conducted by S&P Maalot for TheMarker shows. That May figure brought total corporate debt issues on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in the first five months of this year to 19 billion shekels, 10% more than the same time in 2013. “Activity in the bond market continues to be fueled by low interest rates and narrow margins, which is encouraging companies to issue,” said S&P Maalot CEO Ronit Harel Ben-Zeev. Among the last for the month was Brookland Upreal, which became the fourth U.S. property developer to issues bonds in the local market. Over the weekend, the developer sold 120 million shekels of bonds, 20 million more than planned, due to strong demand.

Tel Aviv shares end higher in very thin trading

Tel Aviv shares ended higher yesterday amid unusually thin trading of just 323.5 million shekels ($93.1 million). The benchmark TA-25 index posted an 0.3% advance for the session to end at 1,397.35 points, while the TA-100 rose 0.2% to 1,260.00. The top gainers in the TA-100 index were Gilat, which finished up 4.7% at 17.52 shekels; Protalix, which added 3.1% to 13.99 after it said Canada’s national health plan approved the company’s Gaucher’s disease treatment, Elelyso; and Strauss, which finished 2% higher at 67.30 shekels. Mehadrin jumped 17.2% to close at 152.40 shekels after its controlling shareholders, Phoenix Assurance and Property & Building Limited, offered to buy out minority shareholders to 142.86 shekels a share, or a total of 62 million shekels. Volume leader Israel Chemicals fell 1.4% to close at 30.12 shekels.