Tel Aviv Shares End Week With Gains but Are Still Short of Record High

Business in Brief | Court clears way for bank to join Internet Gold share offering ■ Bank of Israel mulling plan to invest currency reserves in real estate

A stock market ticker displays financial information and world time zones in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, August 4, 2016.

Court clears way for bank to join Internet Gold share offering

Tel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein late on Wednesday cleared the way for the creditor-bank shareholders of Internet Gold to participate in the company’s planned equity offering. The decision will enable Israel Discount Bank, Bank Hapoalim and First International Bank to retain their 55% controlling stake in Internet Gold and ultimately hand over control to Keidan Dahari and Yaron Adiv, partners in the real estate company Tnuport. Gaining control of Internet Gold would give the brothers control of Bezeq, Israel’s dominant telecommunications company. The banks, which became shareholders after telecoms tycoon Shaul Elovitch failed to repay loans to them, are in talks for Dahari and Adiv to inject 50 million shekels ($14 million) into the offering of shares and warrants instead of the banks as a first step to their gaining control of the company. Shares of Internet Gold ended down 0.4% at 8.88 shekels on Thursday. (Michael Rochvarger)

Bank of Israel mulling plan to invest currency reserves in real estate

The Bank of Israel is considering the expansion of its foreign currency reserves investment portfolio to include non-tradable assets such as global real estate, Andrew Abir, head of its markets operations department, said on Wednesday. “It will take a few more years until that happens,” Abir told a conference. “In the past, when the foreign exchange reserves stood at just $30 billion, liquidity was most important to us. Now, when we manage a significantly higher amount, yield is more important and that is what we have been emphasizing the past few years.” Israel’s reserves have soared to $115 billion over the last decade, mainly because of central bank buying of foreign currency to try to contain the shekel’s strength. Abir defended the central bank’s intervention policy of the past decade, saying it is another monetary policy tool and more appropriate than other instruments to achieve the Bank of Israel’s inflation target of 1% to 3% a year. (Reuters)

Tel Aviv shares end week with gains but are still short of record high

Tel Aviv shares ended higher in brisk trading on Thursday, closing out the week ahead by 1% but still below the record highs it reached at the end of January. The benchmark TA-35 index finished with a gain of 0.3% to 1,532.15 points, while the TA-125 rose more than 0.4% to 1,388.14, on turnover of 1.83 billion shekels ($510 million). Housing & Construction Limited led TA-125 stocks higher, climbing 6% to 6.76 shekels after Apax Capital tagged the stock a Buy with a target price of 8.60. Plasson Industries closed up 0.8% at 166.50. The company said it had reached a preliminary agreement to acquire 50% of a company with technology for treating municipal and industrial waste. Nova dropped 2.6% to 110.50 after racking up a 12.9% gain over the last two weeks. Other big gainers were volume leader Teva Pharmaceuticals, which added 1.5% to 77.34, and Perrigo, which rose 1% to 263.40. The euro strengthened 0.6% on the shekel to a representative rate of 4.2218. (TheMarker Staff)