Business in Brief

News from Tamar, Teva, Fox and Adama, Tel Aviv shares dip.

Tamar partners poised to sign $750m gas contract

The partners in Israel’s Tamar field said on Sunday they expect to sign a $750 million accord within days to sell 3.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the private electricity company IPP Delek Soreq. The 15-year contract will go into effect in 2016, said the partners, The U.S.-based Noble Energy, Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling. The contract may be extended by two more years if after 14 years the buyer hasn’t bought the full quantity contracted for. Tamar, which holds an estimated 280 bcm of gas, has signed several contracts, including a deal worth at least $500 million with two Jordanian companies. Shares of Delek Group, which controls IPP Delek Soreq, Avner and Delek Drilling, rose 1.1% to a close of 1,294 shekels ($373) in Tel Aviv. (Eran Azran)

Teva wins second big U.S. generic approval in a week

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs, said on Friday it won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell the generic equivalent of the best-selling metastatic colorectal and breast cancer treatment Xeloda (Capecitabine) in tablet form. Teva was the first generic maker to win FDA approval, which means it is entitled to 180 days of marketing exclusivity, and thus higher profits, on the drug. Xeloda tablets, which are marketed by Genentech in the United States, had annual sales of around $754 million there, according to the latest IMS Health data. Xeloda is the second big generic approval for Teva in a week, after the FDA cleared its generic version of Eli Lilly & Company’s Evista tablets for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Teva declined 2.3% to a close of 171.80 shekels ($49.65) in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabison)

Sales of Fox clothing chain exceeded 1 billion shekels in 2013

Israeli fashion and housewares retailer Fox exceeded 1 billion shekels ($289 million) of sales in 2013, the company reported Sunday with the release of its financial report for the fourth quarter. That meant a 94% leap in sales over the past five years. Net profits soared tenfold, to 94.2 million shekels, last year. Founded in 1994, Fox operates 353 stores, with plans to grow to 451 by the end of next year. The company 250 stores abroad did less well: Sales dropped 20.2% last year, in part due to a decision to shutter its Russian operations. Fox shares, which have risen 2,300% in the past five years, closed up 6.2% in Tel Aviv on Sunday, at 106.70 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Adama sees fourth-quarter loss widen despite higher sales

Adama Agricultural Solutions, the world’s biggest maker of generic crop protection chemicals, said on Sunday its net loss widened to $29.1 million in the fourth quarter from a year ago due to higher financing and tax expenses. In the company’s final quarter under Erez Vigodman, who left Adama for the CEO post at Teva Pharmaceutical Indistries, revenue rose 13%, to $655.7 million, led by a nearly 2% rise in Latin America and 17% in North America. Financing expenses rose 39% to $37.7 million as a result of increased hedging. Known as Makhteshim Agan Industries until a name change last month, Adama is owned by China National Chemical Corporation (60% ) and Discount Investment Corporation (40%). Discount shares closed 2.2% higher at 28.30 shekels ($8.18) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)

Tel Aviv shares end down, led by tech and telecommunication

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on Sunday as the crisis in Ukraine continued to cast a pall over world markets. The benchmark TA-25 index closed down 0.4%, at 1,368.28 points, while the broader TA-100 index was off 0.5%, at 1,266.72 points. Turnover was a low 607 million shekels ($173.9 million). Technology and telecommunication shares posted the biggest losses, with Bezeq finishing down 1.4% at 5.69 shekels, Silicon losing 5.2% to a close of 2.41 shekels and Allot Communications down 2.8% to 55.54 shekels. Israel Chemicals dropped 1.1% to a close of 30.80 shekels after unions blocked contract workers from entering ICL plants on Sunday and boycotted a meeting with management over a cost-cutting plan. Brainways shares jumped 4.5% to close at 56.69 shekels after the Halman-Aldubi investment house said on Sunday it would be buying a 5.5% stake in the maker of an antidepression device at 53 shekels a share. (Shelly Appelberg)

Itai Trilnick