Business in Brief / Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Stocks Generally Up, Gas Stocks Stabilize

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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).Credit: Bloomberg

TASE stocks generally up, Clal Biotech plummets 20.3% and gas stocks stabilize

Shares generally moved higher on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Thursday. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index jumped 0.87% to 1,606.26 points, while the Tel Aviv 100 index climbed 0.63% to 1,401.04. Trading volume for the day was 1.11 billion shekels ($283 million.) The Oil and Gas index closed 0.2% higher after a volatile day over the future of the country’s off-shore natural gas industry. On Wednesday, the index surged 5.7% on comments by Egypt’s petroleum minister to the effect that, despite initial reports of a major gas find off the Egyptian coast, talks by private Egyptian firms regarding imports of Israeli gas will not be halted. Shares of Clal Biotechnology Industries lost 20.3% after the company announced the failure of a clinical trial of a diabetes drug by a former subsidiary from which Clal Biotech stood to earn royalties. (Eran Azran)

Ohio company dual lists on TASE

Shares in Dublin, Ohio-based Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, which are already traded on the NYSE MKT LLC exchange, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange, will begin trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as of next Tuesday, the company has announced. The firm currently has one drug on the market, Lymphoseek, with others in the pipeline. “There is a very strong biotech investor base developing there [in Israel],” Navidea’s chief financial officer, Brent Larson, told the Columbus Business First publication. “The English-language process to get listed on the TASE was more direct and cost less than European exchanges and its roughly the same hours.” The CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Yossi Beinart, noted that Navidea, which expects to be included in five TASE indexes, including the Tel Aviv-75 and Tel Aviv-100, the Blue Tech and the Biomed index, joins 46 other cross-listed companies on the exchange. (TheMarker)

Clal Biotech shares collapse on failure of drug trial at its former subsidiary  

Shares of Clal Biotechnology Industries collapsed Thursday, closing down 20.3% on the day after what appears to be major failure on the part of its erstwhile Andromeda subsidiary. Clal Biotech, which is controlled by Clal Industries, disclosed that the steering committee running the third and definitive clinical trial on DiaPep277, a new drug to treat Type 1 diabetes, had failed to meet its primary objective. Clal Biotech stood to receive royalties from the drug. The company said it would review the results of the clinical trial and decide whether to exercise its option to reacquire ownership of Andromeda, which was acquired by Hyperion Therapeutic. The two parties at one time were at loggerheads over allegations that the clinical trial results on the drug had been manipulated. They then took their dispute to arbitration. A total of $200 million has been invested in DiaPep 277. (Yoram Gabison)

Azrieli Group eyes NIS 1 billion bond issue, to be used in part to reduce finance costs 

Israeli real estate developer Azrieli Group said Thursday it had received commitments of 992 million shekels ($252 million) from institutional investors as part of a planned bond offering.The company, which built Israel’s first shopping malls and Tel Aviv’s Azrieli office and shopping complex, said it will hold a tender for the public in the coming days and expects to raise about 1 billion shekels. In the institutional tender, demand reached 1.5 billion shekels and the interest rate closed at 1.64%. The new series of 6.9 year bonds are linked to inflation and repayable from 2018 through 2027. Proceeds will go to toward a reduction in financing costs, to refinancing its debts and other ongoing requirements, it said. In February, Azrieli raised 623 million shekels in a public bond offering, short of a 700 million target. (Reuters)

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