Business in Brief

Dankner distances parents from his IDB Group

Nochi Dankner, the embattled controlling shareholder of IDB Group, is gradually removing his parents from IDB Holding Corporation, the company that sits atop his business empire. His mother Goldie resigned from the company's board of directors earlier this month, as well as from the board of its Discount Investment Corporation and IDB Development Corporation subsidiaries. On January 7 Dankner purchased 455,000 shares from his father Yitzhak, which were worth NIS 5 million, in an off-the-floor transaction that left the father with 925,000 shares. IDB Holdings owes NIS 1.7 billion to bondholders who rejected an offer earlier this month that would stretch out repaymentsover 15 years. (Shelly Appelberg )

MKs to get booklet advising them on lobbyists

Lawmakers joining the next Knesset will receive a beginners' guide on everything related to lobbyists, urging them to double-check facts they get from lobbyists with the Knesset's Research and Information Center and to document any discussions with them. "We've decided to distribute the 'basic guide' to Knesset members so they won't become 'easy prey' for inaccurate data and spin tactics used by lobbying firms," explained Shabi Gatenio, head of the nonprofit Association for Progressive Democracy, which is issuing the booklet. Some 250 registered lobbyists work in the Knesset, nearly four times as many as there were four years ago, according to the association, which calls for barring paid lobbyists from the Knesset building, and supports legislation requiring them to disclose material they furnish to elected officials. (Zvi Zrahiya )

Slim pickings for local companies in international tenders

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry's international projects assistance fund has helped Israeli companies participate in international tenders worth just NIS 70 million in two years. That compares with a potential market estimated in the billions of dollars. The fund, operated by the ministry's Foreign Trade Administration, accepted 90 of 143 applications for assistance at an overall cost of NIS 25 million. The goal is to encourage Israeli companies to bid in overseas tenders where Israel's standing in water, energy, communications and agricultural technology has failed to win it commensurate business. The fund offers up to NIS 800,000 for costs involved applying for tenders and performing feasibility studies, as well as professional assistance. The FTA expressed satisfaction with the results, saying the rate of success among participating companies was 20%, double the usual average. (Ora Coren )

Car dealers fined for omitting emission data

The Environmental Protection Ministry is fining four car importers and a dealership a total of NIS 1.55 million for not providing the gas consumption or emission ratings in their advertisements. Under the Clean Air Act, all new car advertising must include such information. A first-time offender is charged NIS 221,000 and double that amount the second time, although fines are often halved following a hearing. The Jaguar and Opel importers, repeat offenders, advertised on the Internet without specifying emission ratings, although both ads were hyperlinked to pages showing complete information. Fines were also levied on the importers for Cadillac and Alfa Romeo, as well as Chevrolet's Jerusalem dealership. (Daniel Schmil and Itai Trilnick )