Ukraine Comes Back to Haunt Share Market

Teva wins approval for generic version of Lovaza.

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Anti-Yanukovych protesters march in Kiev, Feb. 26, 2014. The unrest in Ukraine is affecting world stock markets.Credit: AP

Renewed worries about Ukraine pushed shares prices around the world and in Tel Aviv sharply lower on Tuesday. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index finished down 1.1% at 1,406.77 points, while the TA-100 lost 1.3% to a 1,281.19 finish, on turnover of 1.82 billion shekels ($523 million). Arbitrage shares such as Teva Pharmaceuticals and Perrigo were hit hard after Wall Street posted a sharp decline overnight. LivePerson led the drops, ending down 6.2% at 36.75 shekels after Benchmark Company downgraded the stock to Hold after the company reported that its head of sales resigned and failed to reaffirm its revenue outlook. Israel Discount Bank dropped 3.7% to 6.24 shekels, after controlling shareholder Rubin Schron sold 250 million shekels of shares. However, shares of the Leviathan partners rallied on reports that Woodside was making progress in its tax dispute with Israel’s treasury. Dekel Drilling closed up 1.7% at 19.88 shekels, and Avner Oil & Gas Exploration advanced 1.7% to 3.52 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Teva wins approval for generic version of Lovaza

Teva Pharmaceuticals said on Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved a generic equivalent to the best-selling Lovaza drug for lowering very high triglyceride levels. As Teva is the first company to win generic approval it will enjoy 180 days of exclusivity for generic Lovaza, which had annual sales of approximately $1.1 billion in the United States, according to IMS data as of December 2013. Separately Teva on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a lower court ruling from going into effect while the justices consider an appeal in a patent fight over its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. Teva said that if the appeals court decision was not stayed, the Supreme Court ruling could come “effectively too late to prevent irreparable harm to Teva.” The Supreme Court might not rule on the case until as late as June 2015. Teva shares plunged 5.5% to 175.60 shekels ($50.46) in Tel Aviv Tuesday. (Yoram Gabison)

JT Capital asks for more time to complete Clal Insurance purchase

JT Capital, the Chinese Singaporean company leading a consortium that wants to buy 32% of Clal Insurance, is seeking an extension of its deadline to complete the deal to the end of May as it awaits Israeli-government approval to own an insurer. IDB Development Corporation, which is selling the Clal stake for $1.5 billion shekels ($445 million), said on Tuesday that its board would meet in the coming days to consider extending the deadline. JT Capital told IDB that it had received approval in principle for the structure of the buying group it is leading, but regulators will need more time to complete the work needed to issue a license. Although the JT Capital group has an option to increase its stake, IDB’s new controlling shareholders, Moti Ben-Moshe and Eduardo Elsztain, have indicated that they prefer to keep control of Clal. Shares of Clal end down 0.2% at 70.79 shekels in Tel Aviv Tuesday. (Shelly Appelberg)

Elbit wins $100 million Latin American order

Elbit Systems, the defense electronics maker, said on Tuesday it was awarded a contract from an unidentified Latin American country to supply approximately $100 million worth of homeland security technology. Under the contract, to be carried out over an approximately one-year period, Elbit Systems will supply also a new and innovative intelligence-gathering system. The contract comes on the heels of a $160 million ground-defense electronics system deal, a high-profile contract for unmanned aerial vehicles from Brazil to monitor the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games, and a $290 million order to upgrade tanks from an unnamed Asia-Pacific country. Shares of Elbit rose 1.7% to a close of 221.79 shekels ($63.73) in Tel Aviv Tuesday. (TheMarker Staff)

Court rejects Dankner’s request for further hearings on IDB

The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday turned down a petition by Nochi Danker to reopen the hearing of his legal challenge to transferring control of IDB group to Moti Ben-Moshe and Eduardo Elsztain. Dankner has been fighting to convince the court to reconsider its decision to take IDB from Dankner as part of a debt bailout agreement. But on Tuesday Judge Eitan Orenstein said he saw no reason to act. “In my view, Dankner and [his holding company] Ganden are trying to undermine the creditors’ decision with marginal issues,” he said, adding that he doubted Dankner had any standing to pursue the case. (Shelly Appelberg)