Business in Brief

IDB group's Discount Investments headed toward first dividend in three years; discount grocery chain loses revenue; TASE rises in last hour.

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A shopper at a Rami Levy discount supermarket branch at the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan.
A shopper at a Rami Levy discount supermarket branch at the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan.Credit: Daniel Bar-On

Discount headed toward first dividend in 3 years

Discount Investments is on the way to issuing its first dividend in three years. The company is planning to publish its third-quarter financial results tomorrow. Its subsidiaries Shufersal, Cellcom and Property and Building Corp. have already published their results, so no major surprises are expected. Discount, the investment arm of IDB group, saw 800 million shekels ($226 million) in profits eligible to be distributed as dividend for the first time in three years as of June. The question now is whether Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe, who are newly in charge of IDB, intend to write checks to investors or keep the money in the company’s kitty. Market analysts anticipate that the company will be distributing 200 million shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Low-cost grocery leader Rami Levy takes revenue hit

Growing competition in the supermarket sector is affecting even low-cost leader Rami Levy. Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma reported 30 million shekels in profit for the second quarter, a 2.3% increase over the parallel quarter of 2013. The slight increase comes solely because the discount grocery chain received a 4.4 million shekel insurance payment (pre-tax) after the roof of one branch collapsed. Omitting that payment, the chain’s profits actually decreased. Revenues were down 6%, to 858 million shekels. Rami Levy, known for challenging Israel’s larger, more established chains, has 27 branches. (Yoram Gabison)

Interest rate cut sends TASE up for final hour of trade

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed the day with gains yesterday, as traders responded to the Bank of Israel’s surprise decision to cut interest rates by a quarter-point to an all-time low of 0.25%. The decision, announced at 4 P.M., sent the TASE upward for the final hour of trading, after a day marked by modest gains amid continued fighting in the south and the publication of more second-quarter financial reports. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index gained 0.85%, closing at 1,384 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index gained 0.7%, closing at 1,243 points. The Real Estate-15 gained 0.1%, while the Banks-5 slipped 0.1%. Biomed shares led the gains, closing up 2.2%. Total turnover was 946 million shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)

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