Business in Brief

TASE says upheaval over, Eurex to trade index futures based on TA-25, and Ormat to sell stakes in geothermal plants.

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The TASE visitors center
The TASE visitors centerCredit: Bloomberg

Period of upheaval over for TASE, CEO says

The upheaval caused by the departures of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s former CEO and chairman has ended, allowing the new management to focus on improving performance, its CEO Yossi Beinart said Wednesday. “The turmoil the exchange has been through is over finally and we can get on with our lives and start working,” he said. Beinart declined to comment on plans to build trading volumes, which are well below the 2010 daily average of 2 billion shekels ($580 million). The TASE will present proposals May 12 and respond to recommendations made by an Israel Securities Authority committee, including becoming a for-profit bourse, Beinart said. “We’ve worked really hard in the last three months in trying to understand what could be done.” (Reuters)

Eurex to trade index futures based on TA-25

Eurex Exchange will list and clear index futures based on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index, starting June 9, the TASE, Eurex Exchange and a part of Deutsche Borse Group, said Wednesday. Eurex Exchange’s TA-25 index futures will be denominated in U.S. dollars. TASE CEO Yossi Beinart said the product would open up opportunities to invest in the TA-25 index and develop new trading and hedging strategies. “The Israeli economy is recognized worldwide as one of the most promising and dynamic growth economies,” he said. “The TASE places great importance in its international accessibility and constantly endeavors to enhance its product offerings to foreign investors.” (TheMarker Staff)

Ormat to sell stakes in geothermal plants

The geothermal energy producer Ormat Industries said Wednesday that its U.S. unit may sell minority stakes in some of its power stations to raise additional capital. The company didn’t say how much it expected to raise, but sources estimated it could reach $400 million by selling stakes of up to 49%. “As of now preliminary assessment of the assets are being conducted by several potential buyers but the company has received no firm offers,” it told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The investment bank UBS has been retained to advise on the sale. Ormat operates geothermal plants with combined capacity of 626 megawatts. Share of Ormat rose 1.5% to close at 25.78 shekels ($7.44) in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabison)

Allot boosts profit, sale; CEO to step down

Allot Communications, the maker of technology used to track wireless traffic, Wednesday reported gains in profits and revenues in the first quarter, and said its long-serving CEO would be stepping down. Discounting one-time items, net profit reached $2.1 million, or 6 cents a share, up from $600,000, or 2 cents, a year ago while revenues climbed to $28.3 million from $27.3 million. “We continued to execute well on all fronts and produced a strong inflow of large orders, as well as expanding our customer base,” said CEO Rami Hadar. Allot said Hadar would retire during the current quarter and be replaced by Andrei Elefant, vice president for product management and marketing. Hadar will remain on the board. Allot shares finished 4.9% up at 44.52 shekels ($12.85) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)

Disappointing U.S. growth weighs on shares

News that the U.S. economy barely grew in the first quarter as exports tumbled and businesses accumulated stocks at the slowest pace in nearly a year pushed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index lower Wednesday. The benchmark index was in minus territory most of the day, before taking a dip in late afternoon to end down 0.4% at 1,378.93 points. The TA-100 also fell 0.4% to 1,251.12. Turnover showed some improvement, with some 1.15 billion shekels ($332.5 million) changing hands. Tech shares weighed on the market, with Clal Biotechnology down 5.4% at 10.17 shekels, Mazor Robotics off 5.2% at 31.47 and TowerJazz down 3.4% at 27.02. But Nova rose 3% to a close of 35.62 shekels after reporting a 26% rise in first-quarter revenues to $34.7 million. (Shelly Appelberg)

Ormat’s North Brawley, California, plant.Credit: Courtesy Ormat

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