Business in Brief: Ofer to Take on Kenon’s Lending to Qoros

Leumi swaps Israel Corp. for Israel Chem | Mellanox shares plunge on weak outlook | Shares little changed in short trading day

Tian Tian

Ofer to take on Kenon’s lending to Qoros

Shares of Kenon Holdings jumped on Sunday after Idan Ofer, its controlling shareholder, said he would assume funding requirements for Kenon’s money-losing Chinese auto making unit Qoros. Ofer’s private investment vehicle Ansonia Holdings Singapore, which owns 46% of Kenon, said it would lend up to $50 million to Qoros for use as working capital on condition that Qoros’ other shareholder, China’s Wuhu Chery, would put up a similar amount. It said Ansonia and Wuhu Chery are each expected to initially fund about $25 million of the loan. Kenon said it was ceasing to lend money to Qoros after it had reached a ceiling on lending agreed to with its investors and because of its strategy of not investing returns from one business into another. Ansonia has an option to take a 10% stake in Quantum, the Kenon unit that holds its Qoros shares, Kenon added. Kenon shares closed up 20.2% to 35 shekels ($9.29). (Yoram Gabison)

Leumi swaps Israel Corp. for Israel Chem 

Bank Leumi, Israel’s second-largest lender, said yesterday it had swapped its remaining 5.86% stake in holding company The Israel Corporation for a 1.4% holding in Israel Chemicals. ICL, one of the three largest suppliers of the crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe, is a subsidiary of Israel Corp. Leumi exchanged 451,252 shares in Israel Corp for 17.9 million ICL shares. The sale of Israel Corp shares stems from a competition law that bans financial firms from holding more than 10% of non-financial ones. Last August, Leumi sold a 5.2% stake in Israel Corp. for 500 million shekels ($132.7 million) following a sale of a 6.9% stake the previous February for 707 million shekels. ICL shares closed up at 1.2% at 18.75 shekels, valuing Leumi’s holding at about 335 million shekels. Leumi shares ended 0.7% up at 14.20 shekels. (Reuters)

Mellanox shares plunge on weak outlook

Mellanox shares tumbled  as a disappointing second-quarter outlook for the semiconductor company overwhelmed strong first-quarter results. In its first results since its merger with EZchip, the company said net profit adjusted for stock option expense and amortization costs rose almost 5% to $39.3, or 81 cents a share, as revenues reached $196.8 million in the period. Earnings topped the average forecast of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research of 74 cents. However, for the quarter ending in July, Mellanox said it expected revenue in the range of $210 million to $215 million — below the $216.8 million predicted by analysts surveyed by Zacks. After dropping 12% Thursday, Mellanox shares steadied Friday to end up 0.2% at $47.19 in New York. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Shares little changed in short trading day

Tel Aviv shares ended almost unchanged in light trading yesterday. In a holiday-shortened trading session, the TA-25 index edged 0.01% higher to 1,496.56 points, while the TA-100 added 0.15% to 1,294.66, on turnover of just 282 million shekels ($74.9 million). Biomed and insurance shares showed the biggest gains. Biomed was paced by Mannkind on a 4.9% rise to 6.06 and Navidea on a 4.4% gain to 5.24. Migdal Insurance led insurers on a 3.4% gain to 2.79. TowerJazz closed 3.7% higher at 47.41. Among the biggest losers, El Al Airlines lost 1.7% to 2.90 shekels as oil prices marked their third consecutive week higher, raising fuel costs for the carrier. (Shelly Appelberg)