The Ticker: Discount Delays Vote on New CEO’s Compensation

Teva gets preliminary FDA nod for asthma treatment; TASE shares finish low.

Daniel Bar On

Discount delays votes on new CEO’s compensation

Eduardo Elsztain’s lengthy efforts to fill the CEO’s post at his Discount Investment Corporation suffered another delay after a shareholders’ vote on compensation for his candidate slated for Thursday was pushed back to December 21.

Minority shareholders are objecting to the proposed gross salary for incoming CEO Gil Sharon, which amounts to 14 million shekels ($3.63 million) a year. The package includes a bonus that could double the amount as well as a 1.8% stake in Discount and 0.6% stakes in its two biggest subsidiaries — cellular operator Cellcom Israel and food retailer Super-Sol, with a combined value of 42.8 million shekels. That would add up to 71 million shekels in compensation over the five-year lifespan of the contract that shareholders are being asked to approve.

Critics have not objected to the amounts, rather to the fact that Sharon would be entitled to shares in subsidiaries. Discount shares finished 0.2% higher at 6.80 shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)

Bloomberg

Teva gets preliminary FDA nod for asthma treatment

Teva Pharmaceuticals said Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s pulmonary-allergy drugs advisory committee had recommended approval of reslizumab in patients aged 18 and over. Reslizumab, an antibody, is a biological therapy for the treatment of inadequately controlled asthma in patients with elevated eosinophils in their blood despite use of an inhaler.

"We are very encouraged by the outcome of [Thursday]’s FDA advisory committee meeting, which brings us one step closer to potentially providing a new, targeted treatment option for a specific group of patients with inadequately controlled asthma,” said Michael Hayden, chief scientific officer at Teva.

The FDA is not bound by the committee’s recommendation, but takes its advice into consideration when reviewing investigational medicines. Teva shares ended down 1.2% at 253 shekels ($65.61). (Reuters)

Bloomberg

Tel Aviv shares finish lower, pressured by overseas markets

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on Thursday, weighed down by European markets that hit two-month lows.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s benchmark TA-25 index lost 0.7% to end at 1,533.22 points, while the TA-100 fell 0.6% to finish at 1,320.476. Turnover was a heavy 2.24 billion shekels ($580 million).

Gainers on the TA-100 were led by Allot Communications, which ended 6% higher at 21.32, and Africa Israel Investments, which jumped 9.5% to 2.98. But banks and biotech shares were down sharply. Israel Discount Bank lost 1.4% to 70.3 shekels and Bank Leumi shed 1.2% to a close of 13.70. MannKind paced biotech shares lower again, falling 5.5% to a close of 5.78.

A day after it announced its 12th acquisition this year, Frutarom fell 2% to 180.90. Bank Hapoalim rated the share Market Outperform and set a target price of 201 shekels. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond rose 0.32% to cut its yield to 2.18%. The inflation-indexed bond for the same term advanced 0.25% to a yield of 0.76%. (Omri Zerachovitz)