Business in Brief

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Gasoline prices set to rise 4% by weekend

The price of gasoline is expected to rise by 25 to 35 agorot Thursday midnight. The price for 95 octane at self-service pumps is currently set at NIS 7.52 per liter. A 4% spike in oil prices over the past month, with Brent crude approaching $116 a barrel following the recent turmoil in North Africa, has driven gasoline prices in Europe up 7%. European prices serve as a benchmark for the regulated price of gasoline in Israel, which peaked at NIS 8.25 per liter last September. (Itai Trilnick )

Cabinet approves NIS 8m for flooding victims

The cabinet unanimously agreed Sunday to allocate NIS 8 million for repairs to dwellings damaged by flooding during the severe winter storms that lashed Israel between January 6 and 10. The assistance is earmarked for homes lacking appropriate insurance and is in addition to the NIS 15 million previously approved for helping local authorities repair storm damages to infrastructure. Victims will receive less than the compensation provided by insurance companies in order to encourage homeowners to act responsibly by insuring their properties against natural disasters themselves. (Moti Bassok )

Another tender for rental housing bites the dust

A tender by the Israel Lands Administration to build 42 long-term rental apartments, including 10 subject to rent control, in the Kalaniot section of Rishon Letzion has failed to attract any bidders. This leaves a similar tender last month in Ra'anana for 238 apartments as the only one of its kind that has succeeded so far, although that tender also met with a lukewarm response despite the much superior terms it offered contractors. Responses to an 80-apartment tender in Jerusalem and for 127 apartments in Be'er Sheva have also fallen flat. Exorbitant development costs for the Rishon Letzion project, including a requirement to provide underground parking, contributed to the lack of interest, said builders. The small number of units, 42, would also make the establishment of management and maintenance operations impractical. (Raz Smolsky )

A person stands on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on a stormy day at Nitzanim beach, near AshkelonCredit: Reuters