Business in Brief

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New home sales hit multi-year peak

Demand for new homes remained on the upswing between May and September, climbing to its highest level in recent years, reaching an average of 3,700 dwellings a month according to figures released on Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The figures cited combine the number of new homes sold and construction starts on owner-built dwellings such as in "build your own home" projects. Jerusalem witnessed the strongest demand, followed by Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Rehovot, Be'er Sheva and Netanya. New home sales during the first nine months of the year rose 15.1% compared to the same period in 2012. (Arik Mirovsky)

Livnat, Manor families settle IDB class action suit for NIS 55m

A settlement was approved in court on Thursday allowing the Livnat and Manor families to release themselves from a NIS 1.8 billion class action lawsuit for dividends paid out in the past by IDB Holdings from notional earnings. The two families, former principals in the IDB concern in partnership with Nochi Dankner, agreed to pay a total of NIS 55 million to remove themselves as defendants in the suit, increasing their original offer by NIS 15 million. Under the agreement, approved by Judge Ruth Ronnen of the Tel Aviv District Court, an initial payment of NIS 40 million will be followed by NIS 15 million over the next two years. (Shelly Appelberg)

El Al resumes night flights to and from Eilat

El Al Israel airlines has begun operating its own nighttime flights between Ben-Gurion Airport and Eilat after an arrangement for farming out the flights to Israir expired earlier this week. The company, however, isn't renewing its daytime flights at this point. Last month El Al cancelled the two daytime flights it ran to and from the southern resort, claiming the new route it was given is unsafe. El Al is continuing to use the old flight path for its two nightly flights in each direction.
 (Zohar Blumenkrantz)