Market Report

Tel Aviv Stocks Close Mixed as IDB’s Tumble Continues

IDB Holdings’ stock evaluation expected to plunge from NIS 67 million to NIS 6 million after purchase goes through.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed mixed on Wednesday, after trading in the green for most of the day. The publication of disappointing U.S. macroeconomic data in the afternoon pulled down some of the major indexes to close in the red.

The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index closed down 0.14% at 1,327 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index gained 0.1% to close at 1,219 points. Technology shares gained 0.5%, while biomed shares put on 1.8%. Meanwhile, the Real Estate-15 lost 0.3%, and oil and gas shares lost 0.7%.

Total turnover was 1.269 billion shekels ($362 million,) a bit higher than last year’s average.

Earlier in the day, shares roared ahead in Asia, with Tokyo’s Nikkei gaining 1.9% to close near a six-year high, while Hong Kong shares posted their biggest daily gain in more than seven weeks. European shares paused around 5 1/2-year highs.

Meanwhile, U.S. holiday retail sales grew by 2.7% during the holiday season, the most moderate increase since 2009, as sales failed to draw customers, according to data published by research firm ShopperTrack.

Notable shares included IDB Holding, which lost 5%, on top of its 52% tumble Tuesday. Tuesday’s big fall came as the Manor family, a partner of former IDB owner Nochi Dankner, sold its holding. After the sale of the IDB group to its new buyers, Moti Ben-Moshe and Eduardo Elzstain, goes through, IDB Holding is destined to be a shell company, devoid of all assets. While the company’s current stock market valuation is 67 million shekels, publicly-traded shell companies are generally worth about 5 million to 6 million shekels, and IDB Holding’s valuation is expected to settle around there, too.

Teva Pharmaceuticals gained 1.5% Wednesday, as U.S.-based NuPathe announced that it was the object of a $149 million purchase bid by the Israeli generics giant.

Compugen gained 6%, a day after announcing that it was significantly expanding its activities in the field of immuno-oncology for patients with cancer.

Another biomed company, Excellence Biosense, gained 9%. The company, which develops devices for diagnosing diseases in the digestive tract and the liver, announced it had received approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register its device for diagnosing liver tissue.

Protalix gained 7.4%, a day after announcing it would present its developments at J.P. Morgan’s annual medical conference in San Francisco.

With reporting by Reuters.

Reuters
Daniel Bar-On