Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Market Is a Turkey as U.S. Celebrates Thanksgiving

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A stock market ticker displays financial information and world time zones in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016
A stock market ticker displays financial information and world time zones in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016Credit: Bloomberg

Super-Sol to offer discounts to shoppers to settle lawsuit

Super-Sol shoppers will be getting 4 shekels ($1.07) off bills that exceed 25 shekels during January and February under the terms of a compromise reached to settle a class-action lawsuit. The discount will apply until Super-Sol has granted aggregate savings to shoppers of 8 million shekels. Plaintiffs had sued Israel’s biggest supermarket chain in 2015, alleging that they were repeatedly charged the full price for items that had been advertised as discounted. But since neither side to the suit could show which shoppers had been overcharged, they agreed that all shoppers would benefit using the agreed-upon formula. In addition, Super-Sol said it would create a mechanism to prevent overcharging in the future. The biggest beneficiaries from the agreement are attorneys Amir Yisraeli and Shlomi Cohen, who will get 900,000 shekels for representing shoppers in the suit. (Efrat Neuman)

Cellcom third-quarter profit plunges to 1 million shekels

Cellcom Israel, the country’s biggest cellular operator, posted just a 1 million shekel ($270,000) net profit in the third quarter. The company said on Thursday that net plunged 97% from 32 million a year earlier, while revenue slipped 6.7% to 910 million shekels. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast on average a profit of 8.3 million shekels on revenue of 933 million. Cellcom said it reached a preliminary agreement for the Israel Infrastructure Fund to buy half the 70% stake Cellcom plans to buys in the Israel Broadband Company, which has rights to build a fire optic network over state-owned Israel Electric Corp’s power lines. Cellcom said its internet-based TV service boosted subscribers by 33.8% from a year ago to 206,000 at the end of the quarter. (Guy Erez)

Eyal Ofer seeking NIS 750 million loan to finance Mizrahi deal

His personal fortune is estimated at more than $5 billion, but Eyal Ofer is looking to borrow 750 million shekels ($201 million) to help pay the cost of buying out his cousins’ stake in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. Ofer is avoiding the banks and seeking the loan from Israel’s biggest institutional investors as part of a strategy of maximizing the return on his holding in Mizrahi, Israel’s third largest bank. His buying a 13% stake in the bank from Liora and Doron Ofer is part of an intra-family asset swap in which his cousins will buy his stake in the mall developer Melisron. The deal will leave Eyal Ofer with 22% of Mizrahi and make him the sole Ofer shareholder in the bank. Mizrahi shares closed down 0.7% on Thursday at 66.23 shekels, giving it a market cap of 15.6 billion shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Tel Aviv market is a turkey as U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange got a break from Wall Street’s gyrations on Thursday as U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. But neither that nor gains in Asian markets provided any relief to Tel Aviv shares: The benchmark TA-35 index ended down 0.7% at 1,607.54 points, while the TA-125 shed 0.65% to 1,447.31. Trading was a very light 878 million shekels ($235 million). Bezeq group led the declines, with B Communications dropping 7% to 34.07 shekels and Bezeq itself sliding 4.25% to 4.28. Other blue chips to fall included Israel Chemicals (down 1,.95% to 21,65) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (down 1.6% to 81.60). Brack Capital eked out an 0.2% rise to 378.70 despite turning in a 25% drop in the third quarter to 11.8 million euros ($13.5 million). Adgar led TA-125 gainers on a 2.5% rise to 6.02. In foreign currency trading, the dollar weakened 0.4% to a representative rate of 3.728 shekels. (Eran Azran)