Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Joins Worldwide Stock Market Rally After Trump Speech

Leviev wins $209 million judgment against former business partners; Securities watchdog recommending indictment for ex-CEO of Africa Industries; Foresight raises capital ahead of U.S. IPO.

A digital ticker shows financial information outside the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, August 4, 2016.
Rina Castelnuovo, Bloomberg

Tel Aviv joins worldwide stock market rally after Trump speech

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Wednesday followed world markets sharply higher on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget address the day before. The TA-35 finished up more than 1.5 percent to 1,445.01 points, while the TA-125 added 1.5 percent to 1,284.33, on turnover of 1.65 billion shekels ($450 million). The biggest gainer of the day was Mylan, which jumped 8.2 percent to close at 164.60 after it forecast 2017 profit and revenue above analysts’ estimates and reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue. Perrigo, which plunged more than 10 percent on Tuesday, steadied on a 0.3 percent gain to 273 shekels and was the most active share of the day. The drug maker said on Tuesday it was selling its royalties to the blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri for $2.2 billion in upfront cash and up to $650 million in contingent payments. Industrial Building rose 7 percent to 5.18 after Apex rated its shares a Buy with a 10.67 target price.

Leviev wins $209 million judgment against former business partners

Lev Leviev, who controls Africa Israel Investments, won a $209 million judgment in New York on Tuesday in a bitter dispute with former business partners, The New York Post said. A Manhattan federal judge ordered Leviev’s former partners to pay $142 million to his LGC USA Holdings on top of another $66 million that they had already paid him. “The Leviev Group will take all steps available, including seizing corporate and individual assets, to collect this judgment after the lengthy legal procedures now have resulted in this final ruling,” Leviev’s lawyer, Charles Michael, said. Leviev, who is negotiating with creditors over the fate of his heavily indebted Africa Israel group, had spent years in courts battling with the New York-based Julius Klein Group. The dispute was to be arbitrated, but the process unraveled amid allegations that the arbitrator had been convicted of tax fraud and was tied to a scheme to sell diamonds on the black market.

Securities watchdog recommending indictment for ex-CEO of Africa Industries 

The Israel Securities Authority is recommending that Avi Motola, the former CEO of Africa Industries, be indicted for filing false financial reports, fraud and obstruction of justice. Another indictment is expected to be filed against Avihu Ivshitz, who had served as Motola’s chief financial officer before the two were fired in July 2015 from the company, a unit of Africa Israel Investments. Initially the dismissals were ascribed to a 66 million-shekel ($18.1 million) loss Africa Industries posted, but it later emerged the two were also under investigation and they were subsequently arrested by the ISA. Africa Industries’ Negev Ceramics unit is alleged over several years up to the end of 2014 to have recorded tens of millions of shekels in fictitious revenues and inventory and that Motola himself had taken 2 million shekels for personal expenses. On Wednesday the ISA said the file would be transferred to the Tel Aviv prosecutors’ office after concluding there was enough evidence for an indictment.

Foresight raises capital ahead of U.S. IPO 

Foresight Autonomous Holdings, a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded company developing collision-prevention technology, said on Wednesday that it had raised 20.6 million shekels ($5.6 million) in a private placement ahead of an initial public offering on Wall Street. The company sold a 12.9 percent stake to a group of unnamed Israeli and U.S. investors, including institutions and companies in the automobile industry, at 1.90 shekels each, a 7.4 percent discount to their TASE-traded price. The investors also got warrants to buy shares equal to another 4 percent of the company at an exercise price of 80 cents each. In addition to helping finance research and development, the capital injection will help Foresight reach the $5 million minimum equity it need to list its shares in the United States, it said. The company, which is still developing its technology and has no revenues, has a market cap of equity of just 19 million shekels. Foresight shares ended 3.7 percent up at 2.13 shekels.