Business in Brief

Thursday Haaretz may not appear as workers plan strike for today

Haaretz workers are planning to strike from 4 P.M. to midnight on Wednesday. The sanctions may affect publication of Thursday's Haaretz newspaper in both Hebrew and English, but are not expected to affect Friday's paper. The newspaper's Internet sites will also be affected. Workers are protesting the planned dismissal of up to 100 employees and claim management is not negotiating with them over the firings and other cutbacks. The journalists union has called a meeting of all employees for 4 P.M. and instructed them not to work during it, and also not to return to work after it. Last week, employees called a shorter strike that lasted two and a half hours, including a mass meeting of employees and a demonstration that partially blocked Tel Aviv's Schocken Street. Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken said that not only has management related seriously to the union's suggestions, it has even adopted several of them. But the paper must adhere to its budget, he said, and the layoffs, which in any case are being implemented gradually, won't stop. "It is regrettable that the union doesn't understand that something has happened in the newspaper industry that requires adapting expenditures to the reality of the business," Schocken added. "The decision to strike will not strengthen Haaretz, but weaken it." (Nati Tucker )

Tefron signs marketing deal with Swiss firm

Sports clothing manufacturer Tefron has signed a marketing and distribution deal with Swiss sporting goods firm XTS. The Swiss firm will be Tefron's exclusive distributor in the United States and Canada. The value of the deal is still not clear, but XTS has annual sales in Europe of tens of millions of dollars. Two years ago, Tefron was on the verge of bankruptcy. But after an aggressive restructuring plan, the company reported $29.3 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2012 and profits of $1.3 million. Tefron's customers include Reebok, Victoria's Secret, Patagonia, GAP, Calvin Klein and Walmart. (Dror Reich )

Alvarion shares plummet 18% on lower revenue forecast

Shares in wireless broadband developer Alvarion plunged 18% in trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday after the firm lowered its revenue forecast for the third quarter of the year. Alvarion told the TASE it expects a 30% drop in revenues for the quarter, to $27 million. The hit in sales will also seriously affect the bottom line: The company expects non-GAAP losses of 13 cents a share, or $8 million in total for the quarter. Its previous forecast was for net earnings to fall someplace between a per-share profit of 2 cents and a loss of 6 cents. The company blamed the changes on several large customers who postponed purchases from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of the year. The company will also have to write down $2.5 million after one of its customers in the United States ended operations. (Dror Reich )

Kardan unit to sell Swiss portfolio at a loss

Real estate firm Kardan NV owes NIS 2.5 billion to banks and bondholders and is being forced to sell off properties in Eastern Europe at a loss to pay its debts. Yesterday, Kardan's GTC subsidiary, which is active in central and eastern Europe, announced it had agreed to sell its portfolio in Switzerland for 61 million euros. But the company has an outstanding mortgage of 55 million euros on the property, which means it will receive only 6 million euros in cash from the sale - and it will show a 1 million euro loss on the property. Kardan's bonds rose yesterday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, but are still trading at double-digit yields. (Oren Freund )

Palestinian Authority to securitize debt

The Palestinian Authority is aiming to securitize an initial $200 million of its $1.3 billion worth of government debt by the first quarter of 2013, in order to reduce its borrowing from local banks. "The Ministry of Finance is much more ready for securitizing the old debt rather than creating new debt, because we are not even rated," Palestinian Monetary Authority Governor Jihad al-Wazir said on Sunday ahead of a meeting of Arab central bankers in Kuwait. (Reuters)