The Ticker

Offshore gas producers Avner Oil and Delek Drilling to pay massive $200m dividend; Scherf chosen as TASE’s media adviser; TASE inches up, buoyed by trends in United States and Europe.

Albatross

Offshore gas producers Avner Oil and Delek Drilling to pay massive $200m dividend

A month after completing a massive $2 billion bond issue, and one year after starting to produce gas from the Tamar offshore gas field, Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling are paying out a $200 million dividend to their investors this month. This is the first time that these two companies, part of the Delek Group, have paid a dividend since the $18 million they handed out in 2008. Delek Drilling is expected to give $0.18 to every unit in the partnership, for a total of $100 million. It will keep $179 million in profits following the dividend. Avner will be paying out $0.029 to every unit, for a total of $100 million as well. That company will be left with $136 million in profits after the payout. Most of the windfall - $109 million - will be going to Delek Energy, which has a 62.6% share in Delek Drilling and a 46.6% share in Avner. Another $15 million will be going straight to the Delek Group. (Eran Azran)

Scherf chosen as TASE’s media adviser

Scherf Communications, the public relations agency controlled by Motti Scherf, will be advising the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, replacing Gitam BBDO after 10 years. Scherf was chosen from among the largest firms for what is regarded in the PR industry as one of the most lucrative contracts, by the TASE’s new CEO Yossi Beinart and new chairman Amnon Neubach. The win comes a month after Scherf was forced to give up a contract advising the Finance Ministry on communications amid concerns about conflicts of interest with its business clients. Scherf’s clients include Bank Leumi, Psagot Investment House, the Fischman Group, the Azrieli Group and Eurocom. (Michael Rochvarger)

TASE inches up, buoyed by trends in United States and Europe

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed with slight gains on Wednesday, following positive trends on Wall Street last night and in Europe. The tense security situation continued weighing on shares, and is likely to cause some volatility. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index gained 0.03% to close at 1,399 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index gained 0.19% to close at 1,261 points. The Banks-5 lost 0.56%, while real estate shares gained 0.36%. Total daily turnover continued to be low, at only 872 million shekels. Notable shares included Teva Pharmaceuticals, which gained 1% on the news that Chairman Phillip Frost would be stepping down a year early. Intec Pharma gained 6.3% after announcing Tuesday that tests regarding the safety of its Accordion pill for Parkinson’s patients had been successful, an FDA prerequisite for starting Phase 3 trials. (Eran Azran)