Business in Brief: Israel Corp. Is Year’s Best Performer to Date Among TA-125 Shares

Israel Corp. is year’s best performer to date among TA-125 shares ■ Leumi Capital Markets says: Invest in Israeli natural gas ■ TASE closes Tuesday with small-time gains

A large digital ticker shows financial information to pedestrians outside the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on August 4, 2016.
Rina Castelnuovo/Bloomberg

Israel Corp. is year’s best performer to date among TA-125 shares

Idan Ofer’s Israel Corporation is the Tel Aviv-125 Index’s best performing share for 2018, with gains of 123% to date. This puts it at a market capitalization of more than 9 billion shekels ($2.5 million). The gains are due to an increase in the good fortunes of Israel Chemicals, the Israel Corporation’s main asset. Israel Chemicals gained more than 70% for the year and has more than doubled its market cap in the past two years, thanks to the increase in global potash and phosphate prices. That company is now trading at a market cap of 29.4 billion shekels, and its second quarter net profits increased by 77% to 4101 million. Israel Chemical’s new CEO, Raviv Tsuller, has already earned at least 5 million shekels on his options. Tsuller’s personal worth is estimated at hundreds of millions of shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Leumi Capital Markets says: Invest in Israeli natural gas

Leumi Capital Markets recommends investing in Israel’s natural gas sector, it stated on Monday. “The central trigger affecting gas shares is exports, which are responsible for most of the cash flow for the Leviathan offshore gas field, and affect the valuation of the Tamar field as well,” it stated in a publication surveying the industry. “No one doubts that in the current financial and diplomatic constellation, importing gas from Israel is certainly a positive step for the Egyptian economy, but isn’t an economic necessity.” The report was titled “Optimism, despite the risk,” and advised that investors increase their exposure to the gas sector. Leumi particularly likes Isramco, whose share price increased 1.9% yesterday. (Eran Azran)

TASE closes Tuesday with small-time gains

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed Tuesday’s trading session with minor gains, as the blue-chip Tel Aviv 35 index increased 0.1% to close at 1,628 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-125 Index increased 0.1% as well to close at 1,470 points. Bank shares increased 0.9%, pulled upward by Bank Hapoalim, which gained 1.4%. Perrigo fell nearly 6% on the news that it had appointed a new CEO, Murray Kessler, in place of Uwe Rohrhoff, who had been on the job for less than a year. Tower Semiconductors gained 3.5% on a buy recommendation from McJeffries, which saw an upside of 50% over the share’s market price. Israel Chemicals drew the day’s highest turnover and gained 2.4%, while the Israel Corporation gained 3.6% Other notable gainers were the Azrieli Corp, up 3%. (Guy Erez)