The Ticker

The Bank of Israel will announce its monthly interest rate decision earlier in the day.

Tomer Appelbaum

Central bank to announce rates earlier in day
The Bank of Israel will announce its monthly interest rate decision at 4 P.M. rather than at 5:30 P.M., the central bank said yesterday. The date, the last Monday before the last Wednesday of the month, remains unchanged. The move marks a policy shift aimed at informing the local financial market of any change in interest rate while there is still active trading. The foreign exchange market operates into the evening. “This publication time will enable those active in all of the markets to respond to the interest rate decision, thereby creating symmetry between the various markets,” the bank said in a statement. The change goes into effect with the next decision, on April 28. (Moti Bassok)

Nomad raises $500m for Mideast acquisition
Noam Gottesman, a former Israeli and cofounder of hedge fund manager GLG Partners, raised $500 million yesterday for a company set up with the stated goal of taking over a business with ties to Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East. Martin Franklin, an expert in special purpose acquisition vehicles, is joining Gottesman in Nomad Holdings, which will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. In addition to the $485 million in raised from the public at $10 a share, Gottesman and Franklin put in $15 million for a total of $500 million,. Gottesman’s “deep ties and strong personal, commercial and financial interests within certain countries in the Middle East” make him well placed to source an acquisition.(TheMarker Staff)

Gas pipeline company raises NIS 500m in debt
Israel National Gas Lines, the government-owned company building a gas pipeline network across Israel, yesterday raised 500 million shekels ($144.5 million) in a private placement of its Series Dalet bonds. Interest on the bonds, which elicited orders for 1.5 billion shekels, was fixed at 2.95% for average terms of 11.8 years. The proceeds will go toward building a new segment of the nationwide pipeline network it is developing, between Palmahim, on the Mediterranean coast, and Migdal Ha’emek’s Ramat Gabrie industrial zone, expanding capacity in existing segments and completing the pipeline to Jerusalem. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv stocks, dollar end lower
Stocks ended lower and the dollar weakened sharply yesterday. The dollar shed 0.4% to 3.467 shekels and dropped to three-week lows against the yen and the Swiss franc, after the Federal Reserve’s March meeting disappointed many investors. Wall Street started lower, pushing the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange into minus territory at the end of the day. The benchmark TA-25 index ended down 0.1%, at 1,412.52 points, while the broader TA-100 index closed 0.25% lower, at 1,287.19 points. Total turnover was 1.48 billion shekels ($428 million). For the week, the TA-25 was down 0.4%, trimming its year-to-date gain to 6.3%, while the TA-100 fell 1%, leaving it up 6.6% so far this year. The biggest losers in the TA-100 were Mazor Robotics, down 4.7% to 33.35 shekels and Ormat, off 3.9% at 25.44 shekels. But Teva Pharmaceuticals ended up 1.3% to 181.70 shekels in heavy trading. (Shelly Appelberg