The Ticker / Ben-Moshe Dumped as Cochairman of IDB Board

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Edurado Elsztain (L) and Moti Ben-Moshe.Credit: Moti Milrod

Moti Ben-Moshe dumped as cochairman of the board of Discount Investment Corp.
The board of directors of Discount Investment Corporation removed Moti Ben-Moshe as cochairman Tuesday night, leaving Eduardo Elsztain as the sole chairman. The move follows a comparable move by the board of IDB Development Corporation. Ben-Moshe and Elszstain had taken control of the IDB group from Nochi Dankner, but after Ben-Moshe’s stake was diluted Elsztain became sole controlling shareholder. On Tuesday shares of Discount Development jumped about 8% after Ben-Moshe offered to inject 575 million shekels ($148 million) into Discount Investment in a bid to save his position on the board.

El Al’s Q1 loss narrows

El Al Israel Airlines’ net loss narrowed in the first quarter as the carrier increased its market share, flew more passengers and benefited from a stronger dollar and lower fuel prices. The airline said Wednesday its net loss in the quarter was $16 million, down from $39.7 million a year ago. Revenue rose to $419.8 million from $415.4 million as revenue from passengers rose 1.1% and from cargo by 1.6%. CEO David Maimon said the airline will launch direct flights to Boston in June and noted that its new credit card has 75,000 customers. El Al’s operating costs fell 8% to $367.4 million as jet fuel expenses fell 19.5%. Its market share at Ben-Gurion International Airport rose to 35.4% from 33.3% in 2014.

Partner’s profit shrinks less than expected
Partner Communications, Israel’s second-biggest mobile  carrier, reported a smaller-than-expected decline in quarterly net profit but said “relentless” competition in the sector persisted. Partner, which does business as Orange, said on Wednesday it earned 25 million shekels ($6.4 million) in the first quarter, down from 52 million year shekels earlier but above an estimate of 20 million shekels in a Reuters poll of analysts. Revenue slipped 4% to 1.054 billion shekels, led by a 13% drop in service revenue but partly offset by a 30% rise in revenue from equipment sales. Over the past year Partner lost 162,000 subscribers, to a total of 2.774 million. Partners said it was considering using some of its nearly $250 million in cash reserves for early repayments of bank loans and/or the buyback of its publicly traded notes.

Israel Securities Authority making changes to encourage initial public offerings on TASE

The Israel Securities Authority is making a series of procedural changes in an effort to encourage companies to pursue initial public offerings in Tel Aviv and to view the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as an attractive place in which to raise capital, the director of the authority’s international department said Wednesday. Speaking at DC Finance’s annual securities offering conference Ornit Kravitz said increasing the pace of IPOs here would also encourage macroeconomic growth.

TASE retreats from Tuesday’s record high
The benchmark TA-25 index retreated 0.15% on Wednesday from Tuesday’s record close, finishing at 1,705.94 points. The broader TA-100 index also slumped, by 0.18%, closing at 1,476.25 points. Trading volume was 1.497 billion shekels ($386 million). The Banks-5 index rose 1% before closing up 0.2% in the wake of the release of first-quarter reports by three major banks. (See item above). Israel Discount Bank shares rose 2% after its financial results were published. Beyond the banking sector, shares of flavoring manufacturer Frutarom dropped by 1.9% and Partner Communications by 3.5% after their financial reports were disclosed. The U.S. dollar rose 0.57% against the shekel on Wednesday to a representative rate of 3.874 while the euro dropped 0.29% against the Israeli currency to 4.304 shekels.