Business in Brief: Securities Authority Orders Binary Options Trader Fairtrade Closed

Elbit wins $100 million order from Brazil | Neon Therapeutics raises $70 million | Teva leads Tel Aviv Stock Exchanage lower

A burgeoning binary options market in Israel?
Haaretz

Securities Authority orders binary options trader Fairtrade closed

The Israel Securities Authority ordered a firm called Fairtrade – which had sought to get around the ban on binary-options trading by Israelis – to cease operations on the grounds that it was operating an unlicensed securities exchange. “The authority has determined that the company’s operations constitute operation of a bourse without a license, which violates the Securities Law. The company is ordered to report to the authority in writing within seven days that it has ceased its unlawful operations,” the ISA said in a letter dated January 4. Fairtrade.co.il was launched a month ago, in the hopes that its peer-to-peer platform would circumvent the ban on Israelis trading in binary options and boost the industry’s poor image. “From today, you can stop supporting big companies and use a social and transparent platform that enables both new and experienced traders to enjoy a secure and fair trading area,” the Fairtrade website says. (Uri Tomer)

Elbit wins $100 million order from Brazil

Elbit Systems said Sunday that its Brazilian subsidiary, Ares Aeroespacial e Defesa, was awarded a $100-million framework contract to supply remote-controlled weapon stations, and related equipment and services, to the Brazilian army. The stations, named Remax, will be delivered over five years, starting with an initial production order of some $7.5 million that has already been placed, the company said. Specifically designed by Ares to meet Brazilian army requirements, Remax is a stabilized weapon station for 12.7/7.62 millimeter machine guns, mounted on armored and logistics vehicles and utilized in combat for troop transport, border patrol and peace-keeping missions. “We have witnessed a growing demand for RCWSs all over the world and we trust that further customers will follow and acquire our advanced and mature weapon stations,” said Elbit CEO Bezhalel Machlis, in a statement. Elbit shares finished 1.3% higher at 397.40 shekels ($103.40). (Yoram Gabison

Neon Therapeutics raises $70 million

Neon Therapeutics, a closely held company that developed a personalized approached to cancer therapy and is part-owned by Clal Biotechnology, raised $40 million over the weekend in a fundraising round led by Partner Fund Management. Existing investors Third Rock Ventures and Access Industries, and new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, Wellington Management Company, Inbio Ventures and Nextech Invest, joined the round. It uses cutting-edge genomic technologies and immune-profiling tools to find the “needles in the haystack” that define the therapeutic strategy for each individual and tailor the right therapy for the right patient. The proceeds are to advance Neon’s lead program, NEO-PV-01 – a fully personalized neoantigen vaccine – and for the preclinical development of NEO-PTC-01, a personalized adoptive T cell program, and the shared neoantigen program. Shares of Clal Biotechnology, whose stake in the company falls to 5% after the latest investment round, fell 1.1% to close at 2.48 shekels (64 cents). (Yoram Gabison)

Teva leads Tel Aviv Stock Exchange lower

Tel Aviv shares fell Sunday as investors sold down Teva Pharmaceuticals stock following an earnings downgrade. (See story on page 6.) The blue-chip TA-25 index lost 0.3% to end at 1,463.58 points, while the TA-100 dropped 0.5% to 1,284.35, on turnover of 777 million shekels ($202 million). Insurance stocks also weighed on the market, with Phoenix losing 2.4% to 13.06 shekels and Migdal shedding 2% to 3.04. Energy shares were weaker, too: Avner and Delek both dropped 1.9% to 2.59 and 13.73 shekels, respectively, while Ratio lost 1% to 2.68 in heavy trading. SodaStream finished down 2.6% to 148. Gainers included El Al Airlines, which added 3.1% to 2.62, and Bezeq, which rose 1.6% to 7.08. Israel Discount Bank said it received commitments of close to 1.59 billion shekels ($413.7 million) from institutional investors for an offering of deferred notes, and said it expected to raise 700 million shekels in the tranche. (Uri Tomer)