Business in Brief: Hamashibir 365 Chief Questioned Amid Insider Trading Talk

Israel’s MIS Implants Technologies snapped up; Securities chief urges tax incentives; European sell-off undercuts early TA shares.

Shiran Carmel

Rami Shavit, the controlling shareholder and CEO of retailer Hamshbir 365, is being investigated by the Israel Securities Authority on suspicions of insider trading, the company said Monday. Deputy CEO Adi Blumenfeld-Pinchas and Amir Bronfeld, who advised the company on capital market and business development issues, were also being questioned, it said. Hamshir 365, which operates department stores and the Neopharm chain, said the probe was not connected to the company itself or its traded securities. The statement gave few details, but a source close to the investigation said it was linked to another publicly traded company and an executive who allegedly gave Shavit inside information he passed on to the others. Bronfeld served time for securities violations in 2013. (Eran Azran and Omri Zerachovitz )

Israel’s MIS to be acquired by Dentsply Sirona for $375 million
Pennsylvania-based Dentsply Sirona said Monday it was buying Israel’s MIS Implants Technologies for $375 million in cash. The closely held company based in the Galilee town of Carmiel makes dental implants and has annual sales of about $80 million to more than 60 countries. Dentsply Sirona said MIS’ product line would complement its line of dental and oral health products and add to earnings within the first year. “MIS has a broad portfolio of implants and related products under a well-established brand making it a great complement to our company,” said Dentsply CEO Jeffery Slovin. MIS was founded in 1995 and acquired in 2011 by the U.S. private equity fund TA Associates Management for an undisclosed sum. The dental industry has been undergoing consolidation, which led to Dentsply acquiring Sirona Dental Systems for $5.5 billion in stock, creating a giant in dental supplies and equipment. (TheMarker)

Securities chief urges tax incentives to spur stock exchange trading
The Israel Securities Authority recommended Monday that the government offer tax breaks to investors in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in an effort to boost sluggish trading volumes. At an annual briefing with reporters, ISA Chairman Shmuel Hauser said a monthly exemption of about 5,000 shekels ($1,283) would also help attract investors away from Israel’s blistering real estate market. It was the first time he made such a proposal in public, though any tax change would require new legislation. After rising last year, trading volumes dipped again in the January-May period, averaging 1.28 billion shekels versus 1.43 billion in the same period of 2015. Separately, Hauser said he expected the TASE to complete its demutualization and become a for-profit entity sometime this year. Hauser outlined other plans to energize the stock exchange, including promoting online financial services, such as algo-trading and consulting and easing reporting regulations for public companies. He said the authority was also looking to increase incentives for new companies considering an initial public offering, particularly technology firms. (Reuters)

European sell-off undercuts early Tel Aviv share gains
Tel Aviv shares pulled back from early gains Monday as bullishness prompted by rising Asian stock markets gave way to bearishness as European bourses opened lower. Still, the benchmark TA-25 index kept its losses to a moderate 0.35% for the day, ending at 1,382.34 points. The TA-100 fell 0.5% to 1,196.27 in relatively heavy trading of 1.63 billion shekels ($420 million). Israel Chemicals ended down 3.2% at 14.95 shekels and its parent company, the Israel Corporation, dropped 4.4% to 616.30, after the German potash maker K+S said operating profit in the second quarter plunged to 10 million euros ($11 million) from 179 million euros a year earlier on lower potash prices. Cellcom Israel ended down 4.2% at 222.40 shekels, but energy shares posted gains on the back of the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement, with the oil and gas index up 0.9% at 989.66 points for the day. Bonds extended gains, with the government’s 10-year Shahar adding 0.46% to lower its yield to 1.61% and the 30-year bond climbing 0.5% to a yield of 1.07%. (Omri Zerachovitz)