Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares Rebound From Last Week’s Selloff

Gindi versus Gindi in race to buy Blue Square; Treasury mulls IMI tender with one bidder; TASE to shorten suspended trading

Outside of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Bloomberg

Tel Aviv shares rebounded strongly on Sunday from big losses the week before. The benchmark TA-25 index climbed 1.7% to finish at 1,463.94 points while the TA-100 rose 1.6% to 1,258.72, on turnover of about 500 million shekels ($125.6 million). Last week’s decline caused some 2.65 billion shekels to be pulled out of mutual funds, much of it in bond funds. Blue chip shares were led higher by Teva Pharmaceuticals, which advanced 2% to 250.50 shekels, and Bezeq, which rose 1.6% to 8.93. Tower Jazz ended 2.4% up at 48.84 after Needham & Company started coverage with a Strong Buy. Perrigo rose 1.9% to 593.50 after Barclay’s started coverage with an Overweight. El Al Airlines sank another 2.6% to 2.78 shekels in heavy trading. In the fixed income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond lost 0.3%. Bank Leumi completed a debt issue on Sunday comprising 3.6 billion shekels in bonds and 926 million in contingent convertible, or CoCo, bonds. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Second Gindi group enters race to buy Blue Square Real Estate

Now, it’s Gindi versus Gindi (and a few others) in the competition to buy Blue Square Real Estate. Moshe and Yigal Gindi on Sunday became the latest group to offer to buy 54% of the property company, whose main tenant is the Mega chain of supermarkets, with an offer valuing the whole business at 1.72 billion shekels ($430 million). Gindi Holdings, a company belonging to the two Gindis’ adult children, last week offered to buy Blue Square at a 1.8 billion-shekel valuation, so far the highest. Other bidders include a group comprising the shopping center developer Big and Mega Or, which has offered to buy the stake at a 1.7 billion-shekel valuation. A fourth group called JTLV has also offered 1.7 billion shekels and a fifth one, comprised of the real estate company Azorim and the Dayan family, have offered to buy it at a 1.72 billion-shekel valuation. Shares of Blue Square Real Estate closed 2.9% higher at 124.90 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Treasury mulls conducting IMI tender with just one bidder

The Finance Ministry asked the Government Tenders Committee over the weekend to assess the impact of Elbit Industries being the only bidder left in the tender to sell state-owned Israel Military Industries. Treasury accountant general Michal Abadi-Boiangiu said the government would have to weigh the legal implications of conducting a tender with only one bidder and consider raising the minimum price, now set at 1.1 billion shekels ($280 million). Officials believe that IMI is worth more than that to Elbit because of the synergies it could achieve and therefore should offer a higher price. The treasury also asked the Defense Ministry to offer its assessment on the impact on the military because it would lessen competition in defense contracting and raise prices. The tenders committee has already recommended going ahead with the sales process, but the treasury is seeking outside advice from the State Comptrollers Office and others. (Ora Coren)

TASE to shorten suspended trading to 30 minutes

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange will suspend trading for companies releasing significant news about themselves for just 30 minutes, down from a previous 45, under new rules approved by the board over the weekend. The shorter break aims to minimize interruptions in trading and bring the TASE more into alignment with other global bourses. “The shorter suspensions will give investors enough time to assess what steps they want to take based on new information,” said one TASE official. Under the new rules, no new or adjusted buy or sell orders will be permitted for the first 15 minutes after trading is frozen but, in a change from previous rules, cancellations will be allowed. The idea is to give traders times to assess the news without creating competition to place orders first. Traders will be able to place orders in the second 15 minutes, but they won’t be executed until trading resumes. The rules won’t go into effect until regulators approve them. (Shelly Appelberg).