Business in Brief

Wix picks Appixia, BlueStar Israel targets Jewish groups for funding and biotech firms lead the way on TASE.

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Wix buys maker of mobile commerce apps

Wix, whose technology helps small businesses build and operate websites, said Thursday it had acquired the Israel startup Appixia, whose platform is used to build mobile commerce applications. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but sources said Wix paid several million dollars for the startup. “Expanding the range of mobile solutions we provide our customers with is a strategic focus for Wix, and by integrating Appixia’s technology, we can more quickly boost and further diversify our mobile offering,” Wix CEO Avishai Avrahami said. Wix shares were down 2.75% at $26.60 in early afternoon trading in New York.

BlueStar Israel seeks to raise capital 
from Jewish groups

Steven Schoenfeld, who founded the BlueStar Israel Global Index four years ago to invest in Israeli shares, is seeking to raise $1 billion from Jewish federations, endowments and charities in the United States and Canada, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. So far, Schoenfeld has raised $36.7 million from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and the Chicago federation. “We had strong interest,” Schoenfeld told Bloomberg, which reported that Jewish groups have some $60 billion in financial assets under management. “So part of the lightbulb that went off in my head was: There really is latent demand for this.” BlueStar has climbed 22% annually on average in the past five years, compared with 3% for the MSCI All Country World Index and 16% for the S&P 500.

Tel Aviv shares rise as truce reported with Gaza

Tel Aviv shares ended Thursday higher as an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire ended several days of cross-border attacks between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The TA-25 index ended at 1,373.28 points, a gain of 0.3% for the day and the week, leaving the index up 3.3% so far this year. The TA-100 rose a milder 0.2% to 1,267.51, leaving it down 0.4% for the week but up 5% for 2014. Turnover reached 2.5 billion shekels ($722 million), about double the recent average as exchange-traded note funds adjusted their portfolio in line with changes the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange makes every quarter in its indices. PhotoMedex, a maker of dermatological devices, led gainers on the TA-100, rising 5.7% to 55.14 shekels after its fourth-quarter sales of $63.5 million exceeded market expectations. Other biotech shares rallied, too, with Compugen up 5.5% to a close of 40.40 shekels and Clal Biotechnology ahead 3.3% to a 12.04 shekel finish. Property & Building, the real estate unit of IDB group, fell 2.6% to 239.60 shekels after turning in 70 million shekel fourth-quarter profits, down from 85 million shekels the year before.

The founders of Wix, including CEO Avishai Avraham (right).Credit: Ofer Vaknin

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