Business in Brief


Home Center fined NIS 120,000 for misleading customers

Home Center and its CEO were convicted last month for misleading customers and fined NIS 120,000 by Judge Abraham Heiman of the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court, the Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry announced on Monday. A ministry spot check at the chain's Bat Yam branch found a number of discrepancies between posted prices and amounts charged at the check-out counter, including a 2-for-1 sale in which the inspector was charged full price for both items. Another item was supposedly marked down from NIS 99 to NIS 49.99 but was discovered as having been sold for at least two years at the lower "discount" price. The judge accepted Home Center's explanation that the errors were unintentional oversights but said consumers generally don't tend to conduct price comparisons and therefore the court has a duty to step in and protect them. (Gabriela Davidovich-Weisberg )

Energix investing NIS 350 million in photovoltaic energy project

Energix Renewable Energies signed a memorandum of understanding last week for a 37.5 megawatt photovoltaic energy project costing an estimated NIS 350 million. The company, 54% owned by Alony Hetz Properties and Investments, was given 30 days exclusivity on the project for performing a due diligence and would need to wrap up the financial arrangements by March 26. The agreement also calls for a NIS 70 million injection of equity into the project. Revenues from the project are projected at NIS 40 million per year. Besides building, operating, and managing electricity generating projects using photovoltaic technology, Energix is also involved in projects using wind power in Poland. The company suffered a NIS 274,000 loss on NIS 1.5 million turnover in the third quarter of 2012, compared with a NIS 1.1 profit on NIS 1.7 million turnover in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. (Yoram Gabison )

IAI to supply Defense Ministry NIS 150m in navigation systems

Israel Aerospace Industries will supply navigational systems to the Defense Ministry in a multi-year deal worth NIS 150 million. The Tamam Modular Azimuth Position Systems (TMAPS ) are designated for use by M109 self-propelled artillery of the Israel Defense Forces. The systems provide positional, directional and spatial orientation data designed for artillery. The advantage of TMAPS is its ability to autonomously navigate the platform directly to its destination or according to preset landmarks and make changes in real time while moving, , according to David Dina, acting manager of the IAI's Tamam division. (Ora Coren )

Intel made $450m tax payment after negotiations with treasury

The U.S. semiconductor giant Intel Corporation paid a dividend tax of 15%, or $450 million, on $3 billion in profits it repatriated from Israel at the end of last year, TheMarker has learned. The repatriated profits had nothing to do with recently passed Knesset law on so-called trapped corporate profits, which are profits earned in the past year by local branches of multinational companies that were never repatriated, the sources told TheMarker. Rather, Intel and the Israel Tax Authority secretly negotiated the tax rate on profits made inside the country last year, Finance Ministry sources told TheMarker. In any case, Intel will probably not seek to repatriate its trapped profits. (Moti Bassok and Ora Coren )

Protesters in front of the Home Center in Acre's shopping mall on Thursday



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