Business in Brief: Five-justice Panel to Hear Challenge to Israel's Gas Plan

Pi-Cardia to sell 25% stake to unnamed major medical instrument company; TASE shares higher overall.

Offshore Leviathan natural gas drilling site.
Albatross

Five-justice panel to hear challenge to government’s gas plan

An expanded panel of at least five justices will consider the petitions to the High Court of Justice challenging the legality of the government’s gas framework agreement, the court announced Tuesday.

The framework gives monopoly control of the country’s major offshore natural gas exploration sites, Tamar and Leviathan, to a consortium led by Houston-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek group, subject to certain limitations, in an effort to pave the way for their development.

The court’s initial hearing on the matter has been scheduled for February 3 before three justices, Elyakim Rubinstein, Uzi Vogelman and Noam Sohlberg.

As it stands now, the court has four separate petitions pending by three public policy groups as well as the Meretz party. A fifth petition is expected from the Zionist Union party as well. The Tamar exploration site is already in production, but development of the much larger Leviathan site has stalled amid the regulatory uncertainly pertaining to the project. (Avi Bar-Eli)

Pi-Cardia to sell 25% stake to unnamed major medical instrument company

Pi-Cardia, a Beit Oved-based heart-care medical instrument company controlled by Clal Biotechnology Industries, has signed an agreement with an unnamed international medical instrument firm for the sale of a 25% stake in Pi-Cardia to the overseas company for $10 million, Clal Biotech announced on Monday.

The global foreign medical firm also received first rights to negotiate for the purchase of the remaining stake in Pi-Cardia for a limited period of time, the statement said. Pi-Cardia’s medical device, which is designed to be used in the treatment of aortic stenosis, meaning the narrowing of the aortic heart valve, is currently in the clinical trial stage. (Yoram Gabison)

TASE shares higher overall

Stocks traded generally higher Tuesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index was up 0.65% to 1,534.59 points while the more broadly based Tel Aviv-100 index rose by 0.42% to 1,320.95 points. Trading volume was 1.37 billion shekels ($353 million).

The Banks-5 index was about 1% higher on the day, but the Real Estate-15 declined by 0.55%. The Oil and Gas index climbed by 0.3%. Shares of agritechnology firm Evogene closed just 0.8% higher, but earlier in the day they were up 6.5%, following a rise of 28% over the prior three trading days.

Trading in Evogene stock Tuesday was more than five times the daily average over the past month. Cofix Group shares closed 5.4% higher on news of the sale of two of the six Cofix supermarkets, to be replaced by two more that are opening shortly. The Tel Bond 20 and 60 indexes declined while the Tel Bond 40 was up by  0.03%. (Omri Zerachovitz)