Business in Brief: Leviathan Partners Authorize Key Engineering Contract

Israel Chemicals shares rally on Indian contracts | Tel Aviv shares drift lower as global markets await Brexit vote

Offshore Leviathan natural gas drilling site.
Albatross

Leviathan partners authorize key engineering contract 

Work on the long-delayed Leviathan natural gas field is getting under way after the partners authorized Noble Energy to sign a $120-million engineering contract, Delek Drilling, another partner, said on Wednesday. The contract is for designing production platforms and related operations that marks the first stage of the gas field’s development, Israel’s Delek Drilling, another stakeholder, said. Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said the platform will “more than satisfy the demand for gas supply in the domestic market, as well as export to other countries in the region.” He added that while the engineering work is being done, the partners will issue tenders for equipment and services before they make their final investment decision on developing Leviathan at the end of 2016. The contract comes as exports prospects for the field, which holds Israel’s biggest reserves, are brightening as talks between Israel and Turkey on a political rapprochement has aroused hopes of the Turkish market opening to Israeli gas exports. (Eran Azran)

Israel Chemicals shares rally on Indian contracts

Shares of Israel Chemicals rose sharply yesterday amid reports that Belarus had signed contract for potash exports to India and was weighing renewed cooperation with Russian potash producer Uralkali. Both developments would help firm up prices in the world market for potash, ICL’s single-biggest product. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said his country’s state-owned potash company Belaruskalihad signed a new potash supply contract with India, although a major Indian customer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters the deal had not yet been signed. Lukashenko did not disclose the price or volume, except to say, “I think it’s a wonderful contract, taking into account the current prices.” Ilanit Scherf of Psagot Investment House said the contract would set rates for smaller companies like ICL and coax Chinese buyers, who have been delaying, to finally reach an agreement with potash producers. ICL shares finished up 3.6% at 16.21 shekels ($4.23). (Yoram Gabison and Reuters)

Tel Aviv shares drift lower as global markets await Brexit vote

The TA-25 index drifted to an end-of-the day decline yesterday as global markets awaited the results of Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union. The benchmark index edged down 0.07% to finish at 1,432.64 points while the TA-100 ended almost unchanged at 1,240.22. Turnover was a heavy 2.09 billion shekels ($550 million), lifted by the expiry of the June options on the TA-25 index at 1,436.56 points. Among big losers, Perrigo fell 2.1% to 351 shekels, Partner Communications 2.9% to 16.50 and El Al 2.8% to 2.46. Delek Group ended 1% lower at 769 after Midroog downgraded its credit rating to A-2 from A-1. Kenon Holdings ended 4.4% up at 41.75 after Bank Leumi sold a 7.1% bloc for 42 shekels a share to Idan Ofer, Kenon’s controlling shareholder. Teva Pharmaceuticals ended 0.15% lower after settling patent litigation with AstraZeneca that will entitle it to produce a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Byetta treatment for type 2 diabetes. (Omri Zerachovitz)