Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares End Higher in Very Thin Trading

Leumi reaches deal with Nehama group to sell it control of JEC; Teva to write down $180 million on Venezuela business; Nano Dimension to start trading on Nasdaq.

Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Credit: Bloomberg

Leumi reaches deal with Nehama group to sell it control of JEC

Eliezer Fishman’s financially troubled property company Jerusalem Economy moved closer Sunday to being acquired by an investor group led by Shlomo Nehama, a former Bank Hapoalim chairman. Bank Leumi, which holds Fishman’s 28% stake in JEC as collateral, was due to sign terms with the Nehama group to inject capital into JEC and become its controlling shareholder. Subject to court approval, the Nehama group would invest at least 200 million shekels ($51.1 million) in JEC via a rights offering for the Fishman shares. The deal, however, may still be rejected by JEC’s board in favor of a plan proposed by its CEO, David Zvida, to sell off assets and to issue about 500 million shekels in new JEC shares in an ordinary offering. Zvida has been talking with underwriters about an offering even though it would have to be conducted at a discount to JEC’s already depressed share price. Shares of JEC finished up 4% at 5.16 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Teva to write down $180 million on Venezuela business

Teva Pharmaceuticals will be forced to write down $180 million off its Venezuelan assets in the first quarter after the country devalued its currency, the bolivar, 37% last week to ameliorate the effects of plunging oil prices. The South American state is Teva’s third-biggest market outside of North America and Europe. Revenues jumped 160% last year due to the country’s high inflation rate as well as from increase quantity sales. Meanwhile, Teva has offered concessions to allay European Union antitrust concerns over its $40.5 billion bid for Allergan’s generics unit, European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email on Friday, without providing details. Teva plans to sell about $1 billion worth of assets in the United States, Europe and the Middle East to resolve antitrust concerns, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters. The deal also needs U.S. regulatory approval. Teva shares fell 1.6% to end at 221.70 shekels ($56.67). (Yoram Gabison and Reuters)

Nano Dimension to start trading on Nasdaq

Nano Dimension, which develops 3-D printer technology for the printed circuit board industry and is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, will being trading on the Nasdaq also within several days after receiving clearance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Until now, the company’s American depository receipts traded on the Nasdaq, which exempted it from U.S. financial reporting requirements but also barred it from raising capital on Wall Street. Nano’s printer is in beta testing at companies including Israel Aerospace Industries. The company says it has firm orders for commercial sales, which it says will begin in a few months. Last year it raised over $15 million from private investors. Nano Dimension shares, which rose 50% last year before heading lower in 2016 jumped 10.2% to 5.22 shekels ($1.33) Sunday. The stock will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol OTCQX. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Shares end higher in very thin trading

Tel Aviv shares ended higher, led by energy stocks, in very thin trading Sunday. Only 353 million shekels ($90.2 million) in shares changed hands, low even for a Sunday. The benchmark TA-25 index rose almost 0.3% to close at 1,422.20 points; the TA-100 added 0.1% to 1,224.82. Energy shares were led by gains of 4.4% for Avner, which ended at 2.18 shekels, and Delek Drilling, which added 4.3% to 10.88. El Al Airlines led TA-100 stocks higher, jumping 5.1% to close at 2.99. But SodaStream tumbled 6.8% to 56.71 and Perrigo extended its losses from last week, losing 1.8% to 505.30 shekels. Mazor Robotics fell 3.3% o 19.07, reversing gains from Thursday on a strong fourth-quarter report. In the fixed-income market, the government 10-year shekel bond climbed 0.25% and the shekel bond due in 2042 rose 0.5%. However, its inflation-linked 10-year Galil bond fell 0.1%. (Omri Zerachovitz)

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