Business in Brief: Tamar Petroleum Will Buy Delek Rights to Tamar Field via Biggest Ever IPO on TASE

Knesset due to hold first vote on binary options law on Monday | Former Teva CFO Eyal Desheh named Isracard chairman | Tel Aviv shares trade higher in dull session

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A growing share of Israel's electricity is produced from natural gas from the Tamar gas field off the Mediterranean coast. Credit: Albatross Aerial Perspective

Tamar Petroleum will buy Delek rights to Tamar field via biggest ever IPO on TASE

In what will be one of the biggest initial public offerings ever on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Tamar Petroleum will raise $1.1 billion to help finance the acquisition of Delek Group’s stake in the Tamar natural gas field. Details of the IPO and other financing were contained in a draft prospectus released on Wednesday by the company, which is being set up by Delek for the purpose of buying its 31.25% stake in the field it’s been ordered by the government to divest. Tamar is hoping to attract foreign investors to the IPO by publishing the prospectus in English and conducting an overseas roadshow. Proceeds from the IPO will be used initially to buy 9.5% of the Tamar field from Delek and the remaining 22% at some later stage for $2 billion. In addition, Tamar Petroleum will issue as much as $650 million in bonds that will be used to partly redeem some $1.6 billion in bonds Dekel Group had placed with institutions. (Eran Azran)

Knesset due to hold first vote on binary options law on Monday

A week after a cabinet committee approved draft legislation that would bar Israeli companies from marketing binary options overseas, the Knesset is due on Monday to hold the first of three votes to make it law. Marketing binary options to Israelis was banned more than a year ago; the proposed legislation — and amendment to the Securities Law — would expand the Israel Securities Authority’s power to ban sales to foreigners as well. Selling binary options, in which investors bet on whether an asset’s price will rise or fall within a specified period, is big business in Israel, but the sector has come under fire for hard-sell tactics. Critics, including the ISA, regard the options as nothing less than gambling, not a financial instrument. As a government-sponsored bill, the legislation should win Knesset approval quickly. When it does, the new law goes into force three months later. (Uri Tomer)

Former Teva CFO Eyal Desheh named Isracard chairman

Israel’s biggest credit-card company, Isracard, on Wednesday named Eyal Desheh, the outgoing chief financial officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, as its new chairman. Teva in April said Desheh would step down at end-June after nearly a decade in the job, making him the second top official to resign from the Israel-based company this year. Isracard is a unit of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender. A new regulation requires Hapoalim and top rival Leumi to sell off their credit-card units in the coming years. At Isracard, Desheh replaces Ronen Stein, Deputy CEO of Hapoalim. Under new rules, a manager at the credit card companies cannot also serve on a bank board of directors. Desheh was deputy CFO at Teva from 1989 to 1996 before becoming CFO of Scitex and then Check Point Software Technologies. He returned as Teva’s CFO in 2008 and was acting CEO from October 2013 to February 2014. (Michael Rochvarger)

Tel Aviv shares trade higher in dull session

Tel Aviv shares finished Wednesday fractionally higher, with blue chips showing gains and smaller caps mostly in the red. The TA-35 index of heavy capitalization stocks added 0.2% to 1,439.32 points, while the broader TA-125 edged up just 0.08% to 1,296.58 and SME-150 lost 0.3% to 1,028.65. About 1.14 billion shekels ($320 million) in shares changed hands. Gainers in the TA-125 were led by Dexia Israel, which rose 3% by close to 1,081 shekels. Inrom Construction ended the day with a 2.8% rise to 17.09, Electra Consumer Products advanced 2.2% to 69.80 and Mylan rose 2.1% to 69.80. Biotech was the only sector to show a rise, led by a 4.3% advance for Pluristem to 4.76. Elbit Systems reported it had won a $20 million African contract but its shares rose just 0.1% to 444.50. In foreign currency trading, the dollar strengthened almost 0.3% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.543 shekels. (Omri Zerachovitz)

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