Business in Brief

Ormat wins world's biggest geothermal power project; TASE holds steady.

Ofer Vaknin

Africa ekes out small profit on final quarter of 2013

Africa Israel Investments, the property-development company controlled by Lev Leviev, squeezed out a 3 million-shekel ($857,000) profit in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with a 106 million-shekel loss the same time a year earlier. That left the company with a loss of 75 million shekels for all of 2013, down from 1 billion shekels in 2012. A good part of Africa’s 2013 loss was due to financial costs, which widened to 1.14 billion shekels last year from 784 million shekels in 2012, as the Africa continued to struggle with debt. Four years after an 8 billion-shekel bailout, the company still has 3.7 billion shekels of debt on its books and it remains unclear whether it will be able to successfully service it. Nevertheless, Leviev received compensation of 20.1 million shekels last year, making him among the highest-paid executives in a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange traded company. Africa shares fell 0.6% to 8.18 shekels( $2.34) in Tel Aviv. (Michael Rockvarger)

Ormat consortium wins financing for giant Indonesian plant

Ormat Technologies said on Friday that the Sarulla Consortium it belongs to signed $1.17 billion in project financing agreements to develop what will be the world’s biggest geothermal power project. In addition to its 12.75% equity stake in a 330-megawatt plant in Indonesia, Ormat, a maker of geothermal-power equipment, will provide $254 million worth of its Ormat Energy Converters to the project. It will begin recognizing revenues in the third quarter of this year, Ormat said. Shares of Ormat Technologies closed up 3.3% at $30.30 in New York on Friday while its Ormat Industries unit in Israel added 4.5% to close at 27 shekels ($7.14) in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabison)

Elbit wins third major contract in 10 days

Elbit Systems, the defense electronics company, said on Sunday it won its third major contract in 10 days, with a $163 million order from an unnamed European country for defense electronic systems to be used by ground forces. The contract will be carried out over three years, Elbit said. The order came four days after the Brazilian Air Force ordered a Hermes 900 Unmanned Aircraft System and 10 days after Elbit said it was awarded a $290 million contract by an unnamed customer in the Asia-Pacific region to perform a tank upgrade program over a three-year period. Although Elbit did not say what the Brazilian order was worth it is nevertheless A high-profile sale because the Hermes UAV will be used to monitor security at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games. Shares of Elbit edged down 0.05% to a close of 213.30 shekels ($60.66) in Tel Aviv (TheMarker Staff)

Al-Baad plans 120 million-shekel disposable wipes plant

Al-Baad, a maker of disposable wipes controlled by Moshav Mesuot Yitzhak, said on Sunday it plans to build a 120 million-shekel ($34.3 million) plant in the southern town of Dimona. The new plant, which will employ 40 people, to produce a new line of products it said would serve as a new growth driver for the company and fend off foreign competition, generating some 25 million euros (120.3 million shekels) in annual sales. Production will begin in the second half of next year. To finance the plant, Al-Baad said it would be tapping the capital market via a private placement of shares very shortly, a move that sent its share price down on Sunday amid investor concerns about their holdings being diluted. Al-Baad plunged 10.3% to close at 60.55 shekels ($17.30) in Tel Aviv. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv ends little changed in quiet trading

Tel Aviv shares traded quietly on Sunday, with the benchmark TA-15 index rising 0.2% to close at 1,400.14 points while the TA-100 ended virtually unchanged at 1,281.60, all on a thin turnover of 581 million shekels ($166 million). Among the biggest gainers on the TA-100, Nice Systems finished 4.2% higher at 153.20 shekels and Strauss Group was ahead 2% at 64.19 shekels. Electra Consumer Products plunged 11.6% to close at 35.10 shekels. On Thursday after the market closed, the company reported a 3 million-shekel drop in 2013 profit to 35 million shekels and on Sunday it sold part of its product-service business. Allot Communications dropped 6.5% to 46.57 shekels and Mazor Robotics shed 6% to a close of 37.50 shekels. The government’s 10-year shekel bond fell 0.09% to raise its yield to 3.2% even though Standard & Poor’s affirmed Israel’s A-plus credit rating over the weekend. (Eran Azran)