Market Report / A Day of Minor Losses

Teva will be paying $1.6 billion to settle a patent suit with Pfizer; European index company MCSI says it will not add Israel to its list of European shares.

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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished Wednesday's trading session with minor losses in most of the leading indexes. The news of the day was that European index company MCSI would not be adding Israel to the list of European shares, a move that could have considerably boosted local turnover.

Total turnover was NIS 1.2 billion Wednesday.

Shares lost ground around the world Wednesday. The dollar and world equity markets retreated as persistent concerns about central banks' support for their economies – and financial markets – weighed on the near-term prospect for stocks and other "risk" assets.

In Europe, shares fell on Wednesday, pressured by autos and banks, as concerns over Greek politics pushed regional indexes nearer to key support levels. Asian shares were down as well, slumping in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index closed virtually unchanged, shedding 0.03% to close at 1,228 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index lost 0.18% to close at 1,102 points. The Real Estate-14 lost 1.1%, while the index of oil and gas shares and the index of biomed shares bucked the trend ever so slightly, gaining 0.2% and 0.07% respectively. The day's biggest losers included the index of insurance shares, which closed down 1.4%.

Notable shares Wednesday included Mellanox, which fell 3.6%. The company has been trading under the shadow of a pending plan to take the company private, amid opposition from institutional investors to Eyal Waldman serving as the company's CEO and board chairman.

Oil and gas company Globe Exploration, which began drilling last week at the Ofek-2 well near Moshav Nir Zvi, surprised investors with an announcement Wednesday that it was seeking to raise NIS 10 million. Its share lost 23% in response.

Gazit Globe lost 2.8%. On Tuesday it launched an offering to raise NIS 250 million among institutional investors, and its share price lost more than 3%, closing the arbitrage gap vis-a-vis the discount it intended to give investors in the offering.

Biomed company Plutonics Medical jumped up 26% after announcing Wednesday morning that is planning to merge with Baxter and T.L.G.L.M., and then be erased from trading. The company's shareholders would be paid NIS 25.7 million as part of the deal.

Teva Pharmaceuticals lost 1%. The company is facing a scandal in France after it emerged yesterday that two more people had died after taking medication that was in the wrong packaging. The company also will be paying $1.6 billion to settle a patent suit with Pfizer, it emerged Wednesday.

IDB Holding lost 2.9%. Nochi Dankner's struggling holding company was ordered to sell off Clal Insurance within two months as part of a looming debt arrangement with creditors. Clal lost 0.9% Wednesday.

The Habas Group, a real estate company, lost 30% after representatives of its bondholders decided to vote against a recovery plan offered by the Aspen Group. The offer is up for a vote at noon Thursday. Aspen closed nearly unchanged, down 0.05%.

With reporting by Reuters.

At the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, 2011.Credit: Bloomberg

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