Business in Brief: TASE Expects IPO to Go Ahead This Year

Securities investigators raid five companies on fraud, insider-trading suspicions ■ Day ends with mild losses

FILE PHOTO: A man stands in front of an electronic board displaying market data at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Baz Ratner/Reuters

Securities investigators raid five companies on fraud, insider-trading suspicions

Israel Stock Exchange investigators raided the offices of four publicly-traded companies on Tuesday due to suspicions of insider trading, in a move that shocked the local exchange and investors. The companies are Summit Real Estate Holdings, Kadimastem, Clal Biotechnology and Allium Medical (down 8.9%). Investigators also launched an investigation into Nextcomm on suspicions of fraud. The investigations are the first significant move by new IEC Chairwoman Anat Guetta, who until now had come off as lenient. As part of the first investigation, Summit chairman Zohar Levy was arrested after returning to Israel from New York, on suspicions that he gave insider information to capital market player Menachem Weinberg. Weinberg’s request to be released from custody, published on Monday night, indicates that he is suspected of receiving insider information regarding several publicly traded companies and taking in millions in transactions as a result between 2016 and 2018. The extent of the affair became known during the trading day on Tuesday, as Summit (down 4.5%), Kadimastem (down 12.8%) and Clal Biotechnology (down 4.8%) published identical reports to the stock exchange acknowledging that ISA investigators had raided their offices on insider trading suspicions on Monday. (Shelly Appelberg, Eran Azran and Gur Meggido)

TASE expects IPO to go ahead this year

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) expects to float nearly a third of its shares in an initial public offering some time this year, its chief executive officer said on Monday. The exchange aims to become competitive, cheaper and more efficient after around 200 de-listings over the past decade and a slump in trading volumes. It has sought to list on its own exchange since it demutualized in 2017 and became a for-profit exchange. “We are a good asset,” CEO Itai Ben Zeev told reporters. “So, it isn’t an IPO that I foresee will be a big challenge to finish with regards to pricing and stuff like that.” (Reuters)

Day ends with mild losses

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished the trading day with minor losses, as the blue-chip Tel Aviv 35 Index closed virtually unchanged at 1,568 points, as did bank shares. Other major indexes lost up to 0.6%. Notable shares included cellular stocks, as Cellcom lost 5.5% and Partner was off 3%. Total turnover was 925 million shekels. (TheMarker)