Business in Brief

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Pluristem terms clinical trial a success

Pluristem said yesterday that the results of its early/mid-stage clinical trial indicated its PLX-PAD, placenta-derived stem cells for the treatment of muscle injury were safe, and provided evidence the cells might be effective in treating orthopedic injuries. “This was a very important study not only for Pluristem but for the cell therapy industry in general,” CEO Zami Aberman said. “Based on these results, we intend to move forward with implementing our strategy towards using PLX cells in orthopedic indications and muscle trauma.” The trial was conducted at the Orthopedic Clinic of the Charite University Medical School under the auspices of Germany’s health authority. Pluristem shares, which had tumbled a day before, closed 14.7% up at 15.25 shekels ($4.37) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Reuters)

Brill in talks to buy leading brands from Sakal

Brill Shoe Industries said yesterday it was in talks with the Sakal Group to buy the local franchises for brands such as Bebe, Ralph Lauren, Payless Shoes and Kenneth Cole for 95 million shekels ($27 million), including the stores that carry them and the inventory. Brill said it would buy the business, which has a combined annual turnover of 170 million shekels, through a 50-50 joint venture with Sakal. Brill, which in addition to manufacturing and marketing shoes and apparel own local franchises for retailers such as Nine West and Anne Klein, has bought brands from Sakal in the past. Shares of Brill finished up 1.6% at 24.18 shekels yesterday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Adi Dovrat-Meseritz)

Paper Mills eyes NIS 150 million bond sale

Facing 350 million shekels ($100 million) of debt coming due, Hadera Paper Mills said yesterday it will turn to the bond market to raise 150 million shekels more of its Series 6 bonds. The company has seen profits fall as demand and prices for paper decline and as a result of the company’s plant being damaged by flooding last year. The credit rating company S&P Maalot rates Hadera’s bonds a middling A with a Negative outlook. Nevertheless, its Series 6 bonds, which were first issued last year, trade at a relatively low yields of 5.6%. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv ends higher as Europe hits fresh highs

Tel Aviv shares ended higher on Tuesday, led by gains for Teva Pharmaceuticals, Bezeq and Pluristem, as European shares climbed to fresh five-and-a-half-year peaks. The TA-25 rose 0.35% to a close of 1,332.87 points while the broader TA-100 added 0.6% to 1,229.36 on turnover of 1.29 billion shekels ($369 million). Bezeq took a U-turn from a sharp drop Sunday to finish up 2.2% on Tuesday while Partner Communications, its rival in the cellular segment, was the biggest loser among TA-100 shares on a 1.7% drop. Israel Chemicals fell 1.6% after Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s top potash producer, slashed prices by 24% in a new semi-annual supply deal with China. Other big gainers were software house Magic, up 5.5%; Clal Biotechnologies, up 3.3%; and LivePerson, ahead 2.5%. In foreign currency trading, the dollar strengthened 0.14% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.4980 shekels as the euro edged up 0.02% to 4.7325. (Eran Azran)

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. On the first day of 2014, the TASE was virtually alone among major world stock markets trading.Credit: Bloomberg