Business in Brief

El Al’s profit drops 82% in Q3 due to the fighting in Gaza.

El Al via Bloomberg

Gaza fighting hammers El Al profits

El Al’s net profits dropped 82% in the third quarter due to the fighting in Gaza this summer, the company reported. Profits totaled $10 million. The comparison is versus the parallel quarter in 2013. The company suffered from reduced revenues, higher expenditures due to Operation Protective Edge and losses from gas price hedging transactions. CEO David Maimon added that the recent deterioration in the security situation in Jerusalem caused groups from Europe and the United States to cancel flights, and added that the effects of the recent war would be also felt in the fourth quarter of this year as well as the first quarter of 2015. (Yoram Gabison)

Conglomerate Israel Corp books Q3 profit on Zim debt deal

Israel Corp., one of Israel’s largest holding companies, swung to a large profit in the third quarter, boosted by a gain from ceasing control over its shipping unit Zim. Israel Corp. said yesterday it posted a quarterly net profit of $719 million, compared with a loss of $84 million in July-September 2013. In August, Zim – hard hit by the prolonged global economic downturn – completed a $3.4 billion debt restructuring that included a debt-equity swap with creditors of about $1.4 billion, reducing Israel Corp.’s share in Zim to 32% from nearly 100%. As a result, Israel Corp. recorded a gain of $796 million. (Reuters)

Real estate investor Gazit-Globe reports loss

Gazit-Globe, Israel’s largest real estate investment company, swung to a loss in the third quarter mainly due to losses from currency hedging transactions, and said it would raise its dividend by 2% in 2015. Gazit-Globe said yesterday it lost 13 million shekels ($3.4 million) in the third quarter. The 2013 quarter was boosted by a one-time gain. Rental income in the quarter fell 4% to 1.2 billion shekels, but was unchanged excluding exchange rate effects. Funds from operations rose 2% to 150 million shekels. Net operating income, which reflects the group’s core business, slipped 2% to 840 million shekels but rose 2% excluding exchange rate effects. It will pay a dividend of 0.45 shekel a share for the third quarter, representing an annual payout of 1.8 shekels. (Reuters)

TASE creeps into the black

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange inched upward yesterday, including the bond market, which closed with minor gains following days of volatile trading. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index closed up 0.17%, at 1,447 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index gained a mere 0.06% to close at 1,285 points. The Tel Bond indexes gained up to 0.03%. Total turnover was a hefty 1.8 billion shekels. Bank shares gained 0.7%, as did technology shares. Communications shares gained 2.3%, pulled by Bezeq Telecoms, which was up 3.4%. Oil and gas shares shed 1.7%, led downward by Delek Drilling, which was off 0.3%; Avner Oil Exploration, down 3.6%, and Ratio Oil Exploration, off 2.7%. (Omri Zerachovitz