Business in Brief

August inflation comes in at a low 0.2%

The consumer price index rose 0.2% in August, bringing the annualized rate to 1.8%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday. The August rate was less than the 0.4% average estimate by economists. Inflation was lifted by a 1.6% increase in entertainment and culture prices, an 0.7% rise in housing and an 0.5% in health costs. That, however, was offset by a 3.9% drop in fresh produce prices and a 3.7% decline in apparel prices, the CBS said. Despite the moderate inflation, interest rates are unlikely to go lower later this month, said Jonathan Katz, chief economist at Leader Capital Markets. "The renewed rise in housing prices is likely to worry the Bank of Israel, he said. (Eran Azran)

TowerJazz joins group to build Semiconductor plant in India

Israel's TowerJazz belongs to one of two consortiums proposing to build semiconductor plants in India, a minister said on Friday after the government approved concessions to lure chipmakers. TowerJazz has allied with India's Jaiprakash Associates with IBM as technology partner to build a plant near New Delhi at a cost of $4 billion, the government said.The second consortium comprises Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp and Malaysia's Silterra with STMicroelectronics as the technology partner for a $4 billion plant in the western state of Gujarat. The technology providers must take at least a 10% stake in the projects, while the Indian government would get an 11% stake in each project. India wants local production of chips to cut long-term import bills and has renewed a drive to attract investments after a previous attempt failed. (Reuters)

TowerJazz chip-fabrication plant.