Business in Brief / Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Marks Quiet Finale to a Turbulent Week

Safe-T files for $15 million Tel Aviv IPO; Plasan wins part of giant order from U.S. military for armored vehicles; Discount supermarkets turn in weak quarterly results.

Shares mark quiet finale to a turbulent week

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended a stormy week with a calm trading session Thursday. The benchmark TA-25 index rose 0.3% to finish at 1,596.56 points, while the TA-100 gained 0.6% to 1,398.35. But that still left the two indexes down about 6% and 5% respectively,  after sharp drops on  Sunday, Monday and Wednesday against the background of turbulent global stock markets. Turnover was a high 2.55 billion shekels ($650 million) due to the expiry of the August options on the TA-25 index, at an exercise price of 1,604.33 points. Cellphone operators were sharply lower (see story on page 16), but nearly all other sectors ended the day up. Perrigo rose 3.2% to 729.50 shekels and Elbit Systems added 1.9% to 300 after it said it won a $115 million leasing and maintenance contract for Israel Police aircraft. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond fell 0.23% to raise its yield to 2.16%. The currency market was quiet, too, with the dollar gaining 0.2% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.9280 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Safe-T files for $15 million Tel Aviv IPO

Safe-T, a cybersecurity startup, filed Thursday for an initial public offering for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company, which was founded just two and a half years ago, said it aims to raise about $15 million in an offering valuing it at $70 million before the money. Safe-T posted just $134,000 in sales in the first half of the year and ran up a $14.6 million loss, most of connected with the IPO, and its auditors have attached a “going concern” warning to its financial statements. Safe-T said it has made some sales in Europe and the United States for its Secure Data Exchange Broker, which enables organizations to broker, control and secure data exchange between people, applications and the Internet cloud. But right now it is focused on the Israeli market. The proceeds of the IPO will be used to set up a direct sales office in the United States and broaden its distribution network, Safe-T said in the prospectus. It is goes through, the IPO will be only the third this year on the TASE. (Eran Azran)

Plasan wins part of giant order from U.S. military for armored vehicles

Plasan Industries said Thursday it will provide armor protection for almost 17,000 new light trucks to replace aging Humvees for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The company said it was named subcontractor by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation, which this week won a $6.75 billion, five-year contract to build the trucks. Closely-held Plasan said it did not know its share of the contract, but it should be significant as Oshkosh offered a brand-new design for vehicles resistant to mines and roadside bombs, but light enough to be carried by air. CEO Danny Ziv said most of the work will likely be done at Plasan’s U.S. plant rather than its main facility at Kibbutz Sasa, due to Pentagon demands for local production. Plasan won lots of business from the U.S. military over the last decade to armor vehicles used in Iraq and Afghanistan, setting up a U.S. subsidiary for that purpose. (Ora Coren)

Discount supermarkets turn in weak quarterly results

The second quarter was an unhappy one for discount supermarkets, financial results this week showed. Rami Levy, the biggest of the discounters, said its operating profit dropped 10% from a year ago to 32 million shekels ($8.2 million) as falling food prices, high costs connected with new store openings and a hike in the minimum wage offset a 29% increase in sales to 1.025 billion shekels. Despite troubles at rival food retailer Mega, Rami Levy said its same-store sales edged up just 1.8%. Meanwhile, Victory said its operating profit dropped by 1 million shekels to 5.9 million as sales rose 6.2% to 237.7 million shekels. Same-store sales, however, were down 2.9%. CEO Eyal Ravid attributed the drop to intense competition that forced supermarkets to cut prices. Rami Levy shares ended 3.7% higher at 1771.80 shekels while Victory shares rose 4.6% to finish at 31.11 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)