Business in Brief

Dorad to sign $4 billion contract to buy Tamar gas

After many delays, the Tamar gas field partners are expected to sign a giant $4 billion accord with Dorad to supply the private power company's Ashdod electricity-generating plant with energy over 16 years. The signing comes just as Dorad has taken delivery of the last of the 12 turbines it is installing at the plant, which will begin generating 840 megawatts in the final quarter of 2013. Dorad, whose backers include Turkish company Zorlu with a 25% stake, had originally planned to power the plant with Egyptian gas, until supplies were cut off in April. The negotiations between Dorad and Tamar, led by Noble Energy and companies controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, include clauses allowing Dorad to resell surplus gas and source gas from other supplies starting halfway through the contract period. (Itai Trilnick )

Elbit wins two contracts in Asia worth $50 million

Elbit Systems has won two contracts from an Asian country to supply defense systems at a total value of $50 million, the defense electronics firm said yesterday. Under the first contract, Elbit will supply the country's artillery corps with the ATMOS autonomous artillery system for $30 million. The system, which will be delivered within three years, enhances mission flexibility, reaction speed and survivability of the crew and the system. Under the second contract, Elbit will supply the country's armed forces with personal radio systems, which will be delivered within a year. That contract is worth $20 million. (Reuters )

Portion of Israeli junk bonds rises to 2008 levels

The percentage of Israeli corporate bonds in junk territory was about the same in September as it was in 2008, the year Lehman Brothers collapsed, the rating agency S&P Maalot said yesterday. It defined "junk" as bonds trading at spreads wider than 10% above so-called "risk-free" Israeli government bonds. More than a third of all corporate bonds in Israel traded at double-digit yields, indicating investor doubts as to their ability to repay debt in full and on time - that compared with 25% of all corporate bonds in September 2011 and 12% in September 2010. Given that companies with bonds trading that high can hardly borrow any more, because it would cost them too much, and given their working capital needs, Maalot anticipates waves of asset divestitures, debt arrangements and defaults. (Michael Rochvarger )

Delek Real Estate at risk of losing major property asset

Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Real Estate, fresh from a debt restructuring agreement, now seems doomed to lose its biggest asset - its 50% share of the Linchfield parking-lots business in Britain. Delek Real Estate and its partners in Linchfield have been unable to reach an agreement with their lending consortium, which includes RBS, Lloyds Bank and private equity giant Blackstone. The consortium is owed about 567 million pounds. Because the amount owed is more than the value of the underlying assets, Delek Real Estate asked the banks to take 20 million pounds now and it has to negotiate a separate understanding with Blackstone. The banks are said to have refused. (TheMarker Staff )

Noble Energy puts Leviathan oil prospects at 25%

Texas-based Noble Energy sees a 25% chance of finding oil at Leviathan, the deep-water gas field it owns together with several Israeli partners. Analysts had placed that probability at 10% to 15%. Noble expects to start drilling at Leviathan, which is believed to harbor huge amounts of natural gas, in the last quarter of 2013. If there is oil there, Noble anticipates tapping it in about five years. The company indicates potential of 210 million barrels to 1.5 billion barrels at Leviathan. Israel consumes 100 million barrels of oil a year. (TheMarker Staff )