Business in Brief: Israeli Government Gained $275 Million by Delaying Leumi Share Sale

Teva offers to buy back $400 million in bonds ■ RADA cashes in on drone-threat fears ■ TASE closes in the red, dragged down by Wall Street

CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach discusses Bank Leumi's earnings, February 29, 2016.
Ofer Vaknin

Israeli government gained 1 billion shekels by delaying Leumi share sale

Israel began selling its stake in Bank Leumi on Tuesday, some two months after receiving permission to do so from the chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, Moshe Gafni. By delaying the sale, which has been planned for years, the state gained 1 billion shekels ($275.8 million) thanks to an increase in the bank’s share price. Citigroup is leading the transaction; it will be selling around 81 million shares, a 5.37% stake in the bank, worth 1.92 billion shekels. The money will be used to reduce the national debt. On Tuesday, Bank Leumi shares fell 0.9% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Michael Rochvarger)

Teva offers to buy back $400 million in bonds

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is taking advantage of its cash flow to buy back bonds: On Tuesday the company published an offer to repurchase $400 million in the debt. The offer applies to bonds coming due in 2019 and 2020. The company is offering $987.50 for bonds with a face value of $1,000 due in 2019, a 0.4% premium over the market price and a yield to maturity of 3.6%. For bonds bearing interest of 0.375% coming due in 2020, the company is offering $987.50 for bonds with a face value of $1,000, a 0.56% premium over the market price and a yield to maturity of 1.25%. It is also offering $977.50 for 2020 bonds bearing interest of 2.25%, representing a yield to maturity of 4.03%. (Yoram Gabison)

RADA cashes in on drone-threat fears

RADA Electronic Industries has booked $7.5 million in sales in a month due to concerns over drone threats. RADA, which specializes in defense electronics including radar sensors, announced that it had signed a $3.5 million contract with a U.S. military client. On Tuesday its shares surged as much as 12% on the news, closing nearly 9% higher. RADA’s radar systems specialize in identifying threats including drones, people, vehicles, mortar shells and rockets. The company is expected to supply the equipment this year. The newest U.S. order comes two weeks after a purchase by Britain’s defense ministry. Chief Executive Dov Sela said the company sees two major trends in the global market: demand for products that identify and neutralize threats from afar, and responses to drone threats. (Yoram Gabison)

TASE closes in the red, dragged down by Wall Street

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed lower Tuesday with nearly all major indexes showing losses. Shares were dragged down further in the final hour of trade after Wall Street began trading in the red. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-35 Index closed 0.8% lower at 1,654 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-125 fell by the same percentage to 1,486 points. Notable movers included Bank Hapoalim, which dropped 3.2% on the news that longtime controlling shareholder Shari Arison would be selling her stake. Shares in cellular service companies Partner and Cellcom closed down 4.2% and 1.9% respectively on the news that businessman Rami Levy would be selling cellular service packages for a shekel a month. Shares in the company Rami Levy closed 0.4% higher. Clothing company Fox gained 0.4%, extending a modest rebound after allegations last month of sexual misconduct by controlling shareholder Harel Wiesel. (Noam Bar)