Business in Brief / Israel Corp. Posts Wider Loss After Spin-off

Delek in talks to buy Alon's U.S. refining unit; TASE lost more listed companies in 1Q; FDA approves innovative Teva inhaler; Wall Street undercuts TA-25's gains.

The Dead Sea Works potash fertilizer manufacturing plant belongs to Israel Chemicals.

Israel Corp. posts wider loss after spin-off

Israel Corporation, whose holdings include Israel Chemicals and Oil Refineries Limited, reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter after it made write-downs following the spin-off of some assets into a new company called Kenon Holding. The conglomerate, controlled by Idan Ofer, posted a quarterly net loss of $464 million, widening from $406 million a year earlier, after recording losses of $401 million on discontinued operations following the spin-off in early January. Israel Corporation transferred its holdings in chipmaker TowerJazz, shipping line Zim, Qoros Automotive — a joint venture it has with China’s Chery Automobile — IC Power and IC Green Energy to Kenon. ICL, the world’s sixth-largest potash producer, earned $108 million excluding one-off items, down from $195 million the previous year, while Oil Refineries swung to a profit in the quarter. Israel Corporation shares ended up 2.8% at 1,425 shekels $358.95). (Reuters)

Delek in talks to buy Alon’s U.S. refining unit

Delek US Holdings confirmed on Tuesday that it is in talks to buy all or part of Alon Israel Oil’s stake in its U.S. refining and service station business. Financial terms were not mentioned by either side, but Alon USA Energy has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion. Alon USA, which is about 48% owned by the Israeli parent company, operates refineries in Texas, California and Louisiana with a capacity of about 217,000 barrels a day, and operates nearly 300 Seven-Eleven convenience stores in Central and West Texas and New Mexico. That would complement Delek US, a unit of Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group, which has refineries in Texas and Arkansas, with a capacity of 140,000 barrels. Shares of Alon USA were up 0.9% at $16.72 in early afternoon in New York. (TheMarker Staff)

TASE lost more listed companies in 1Q

The number of companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange continued to decline in the first quarter, despite efforts by the bourse to encourage trading and make listing easier. The Israel Association of Public Traded Companies said yesterday that four companies delisted from the TASE in the first three months of the year and no new companies joined. “No sane investor would choose to have a public company in Israel with the weight of all the unprofessional regulation,” said Ilan Flato, the association’s director. “The finance minister-designate, Moshe Kahlon, will have to deal with the slow and painful death of the Israel bourse. Only a fundamental change in regulations will lead to new companies joining.” Last year, 42 companies left the exchange and only seven new ones joined, marking the eighth year of decline. (Dror Reich)

FDA approves innovative Teva inhaler

Teva Pharmaceuticals said yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its inhaler for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in adults. The ProAirRespiClick is the first breath-actuated, dry-powder rescue inhaler to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute asthma symptoms. The device, which comes as the company seeks to establish market leadership in respiratory treatments, will be commercially available during the current quarter, Teva said. Teva shares ended down 1.6% at 245.50 shekels ($61.84). (TheMarker Staff)

Wall Street undercuts TA-25’s gains

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended broadly higher yesterday, but well off its peaks for the day after Wall Street opened lower. The TA-25 and the TA-100 index both ended the session up 0.3% at 1,630.83 and 1,421.12 points, respectively, as 1.36 billion shekels ($340 million) in shares changed hands. Energy and finance shares paced the gained, with Bank Hapoalim finished up 1.25% at 19.40 shekels and the Oil and Gas index rising 1.6% to 1,025.71 points. Bezeq finished 1.1% up at 7.50 shekels. Among losers, LivePerson slumped 3.6% to 40.57, Housing & Construction loss 3.6% to 8.80 shekels and Perrigo 2.5% to 646.70. The government’s shekel bond due in March 2024 rose 0.19%, trimming its yield to 1.49%. (Dror Reich)