Business in Brief

Fischer says he chose aliya because Israel is 'a very nice place' to live

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer told a conference at Tel Aviv University Wednesday that he chose to immigrate to Israel for the simple reason that it is a "very nice" place to live. "Americans ask me why I made aliya to Israel. They watch television, hearing about the terror attacks and the wounded, and they don't understand why I took this step. I tell them: 'It's simply a very nice place to live,'" he said at a conference on encouraging academics to find work in Israel. "I hope the day will come when the standard of living here is like that offered in the Western world's leading countries, and that this will act as a force against the brain drain," Fischer said, adding that he hoped the day would come when Israel "will not only be in a better economic situation relative to the West now in crisis, but that Israel will offer a living standard higher than the West." (Hila Weisberg )

Plunging sales lead to second quarter loss for Alvarion

Alvarion, the maker of wireless communications equipment for wideband networks, said it had a net loss in the second quarter, as revenue dropped 39% to $33.8 million. The company posted a loss in non-GAAP terms of $5.8 million, or nine cents a share, compared with a profit of $1.5 million, or five cents, a year earlier. Alvarion said that in the third quarter, revenue would be in the range of $31 million to $39 million, which would leave it with something between a loss of six cents a share or a profit of two cents a share. Shares of Alvarion fell 1.4% Wednesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, extending their year-to-date loss to close to 57%. (Dror Reich )

Can-Fite expects positive data on psoriasis drug by year's end

Can-Fite BioPharma expects to publish positive data at the end of the third quarter regarding the safety and efficacy of its CF101 drug for the treatment of psoriasis, the Israeli company's acting CEO said on Wednesday. CF101, a small molecule oral drug, is in advanced clinical development for the treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, which affects the skin, and rheumatoid arthritis."We are going to have the interim analysis clinical data toward the end of the third quarter," Pnina Fishman said. "The data is positive ... in terms of safety and efficacy." The most effective treatments for psoriasis on the market are biological drugs that cost a patient about $20,000 a year. "There is a need for another type of drug that won't be so expensive and will not induce adverse events," Fishman said. (Reuters )

Shemen Oil sells 5% of field to Zerah for $8 million

Zerah Oil and Gas Exploration will buy 5% of the rights in the Shemen 387 license from Shemen Oil and Gas Resources. In return, Zerah will invest $8 million in the Yam-3 well to be drilled in field. Of this amount, $3.5 million will be transferred immediately and in cash - once the Energy and Water Resources Ministry approves the purchase. The rest of the money will be paid out as the drilling proceeds, and will cover the actual expenses. The budget for the entire project, including production tests and preparing the well for production, is estimated at $98 million. The deal reflects a $160 million value for the license, which represents a 20% premium on Shemen's market cap as of Wednesday morning. After the deal, Shemen will still own 90% of the license and the operator of the well, CDC, owns another 5%. The regulator must still approve the deal, as must shareholders. (Vadim Sviderski )