Business in Brief: Delek Tells Investor Conference It’s Bullish on Natural Gas Exports to Egypt

Liora, Doron Ofer to take control of Melisron ■ Paz wins tender to supply Palestinian Authority with cooking gas, gasoline ■ Shares finish the down in very light turnover

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Israeli gas platforms controlled by U.S.-Israeli energy group Noble and Delek 15 miles west of Ashdod in the Mediterranean Sea. June 25, 2015.
Israeli gas platforms controlled by U.S.-Israeli energy group Noble and Delek 15 miles west of Ashdod in the Mediterranean Sea. June 25, 2015.Credit: Reuters

Delek tells investor conference it’s bullish on natgas exports to Egypt

Investors apparently walked away from a meeting Sunday with Yitzhak Tshuva more certain than before that his Delek Group would in fact be exporting natural gas to Egypt soon. Delek Group shares ended 3% higher at 667.10 shekels ($181.54) after the investor conference, as Tshuva outlined the company’s short-term outlook, including the start of gas production at the Leviathan field. “In the next months we will complete the pipeline to Jordan and Leviathan will become the biggest energy producer in the Middle East … We believe we will sign additional agreements with [Israeli] customers and the Egyptian liquefied natural gas plants,” he said. Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu discounted a report in TheMarker that the pipeline Delek and its partners plan to use to export gas to Egypt was going to be used by Egypt to export its gas to Jordan. He clarified that Egypt would use the pipeline for exports only during 2019. (Eran Azran)

Liora, Doron Ofer to take control of Melisron

Melisron, one of Israel’s biggest property companies, is coming under the control of Liora and Doron Ofer, but perhaps not for long. Under an agreement splitting up the family assets signed on Thursday she and her brother will take control of 61% of the company while their cousin Eyal Ofer will get the family’s 22% of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, Israel’s third-largest lender. The family is splitting up the assets to meet the terms of the Business Concentration Law that bars the same shareholders from controlling major financial and non-financial companies. The division will also pave the way for Avi Levy, Melisron’s CEO, to buy up to 30% of the company through an investor group. Levy has been angling to get equity in Melisron but was told to wait until the Ofer family had divided up their assets. The Ofers are prepared to sell shares in order to keep Levy at the helm. Melisron shares fell 1% at 166.40 shekels ($45.28). (Shelly Appelberg)

Paz wins tender to supply Palestinian Authority with cooking gas, gasoline

Paz said on Sunday it had been awarded a two-year contract starting in January by the Palestinian Authority to supply petroleum and cooking gas to the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli company has been supplying the energy products under a two-year contract that is due to expire at the end of this year. Under that contract it supplied 85% of Palestinian cooking gas and half its gasoline. The new contract terms are similar, it said. Palestinian business is important to Paz, accounting for 11% of its 2017 revenues, or 1.25 billion shekels ($340 million at current exchange rates) and are more profitable than its Israeli business. Paz said that profit margins on the new contract were similar to its previous one. It added that if the PA ever cancelled the contract, it was confident it would find other customers in Israel and abroad, but probably at lower profit margins. Shares of Paz declined 1.4% to close at 568.70 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Shares finish the down in very light turnover

Tel Aviv shares ended lower in very light turnover on Sunday. The TA-35 and TA-125 indices both fell about 0.25% to 1,653.75 and 1,489.68 points, respectively, as just 580 million shekels ($158 million) in shares changed hands. Leading the losers, Opko Health plunged 10.6% to 12.49 shekels after its third-quarter results showed the heathcare holding company had just $43 million in cash left on its books. LivePerson dropped 8.2% to 77.84 after the company said it had an adjusted loss of 2 cents a share, in line with forecasts. Other declines were posted by TowerJazz (down 2.2% to 56.04) and Israel Chemicals (down 1.2% to 23.62, snapping eight-day of gains that saw its price climb 12.7%). Among gainers, Phoenix added 2.3% to 22.40 after parent company Delek CEO Asaf Bartfeld said there is “a lot of interest” from buyers in taking the company’s controlling stake in the insurer. Israel Electric Corporation raised 1.6 billion shekels in its first bond sale since industry reforms went into effect. (Guy Erez)

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