Business in Brief

Ashdod Port workers end labor slowdown

Ashdod Port workers on Monday called an end to the labor slowdown they began last week, returning to unloading imported automobiles and working overtime shifts. The action, which was never formally declared by the union, ended when unions reached an agreement with management through the mediation of the Be'er Sheva Regional Labor Court. As part of the agreement, the port canceled all unilateral steps taken regarding the unloading of cars - an issue that had helped trigger the labor disruptions. (Daniel Schmil)

Bill to change tax status of couples working together in business gets initial approval

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously approved proposed legislation on Monday that would assess taxes for married couples that work in a jointly owned business separately, starting next year. That would change the current practice, under which the spouse earning the most money of the two is considered to be the sole earner and consequently assessed at a higher tax rate. However, the legislation proposed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid has angered many couples, because it will not lower tax liabilities retroactively. An activist said that 200 couples would appear at a Knesset Finance Committee hearing next week to protest. (Tali Heruti-Sover)

Sensible Medical Innovations raises reported $20 million, with support from Israel funds

Sensible Medical Innovations, a Kfar Netter-based startup developing an imaging device for monitoring heart failure, said on Monday it had raised an undisclosed amount of money from investors, led by the U.S. company Boston Scientific. TheMarker sources estimated that the amount was $20 million. China's Shanghai LongTec Medical Technology Co. participated in the round, as did the U.S.-Israeli fund SCP Vitalife Partners and Israel's Genesis Partners, both of whom had put money into Sensible in earlier fund-raising. The company, founded in 2007, said it would use the proceeds for further clinical trials and commercialize the technology. (Inbal Orpaz)

Helios fund raises NIS 320m for renewable energy projects, providing NIS 1b of leverage

Helios Energy Investments, a private equity fund that invests in renewable energy projects, has raised NIS 320 million from institutional investors, more than three times the NIS 100 million planned, TheMarker has learned. Among the investors were the Migdal, Menorah and Ayalon insurance companies, as well as Gilad Pension Fund. The round of financing will enable Helios to leverage up to NIS 1 billion in new investments in Israel and Europe. Helios currently manages 16 solar-power installations in various stages of development. (Assa Sasson)