Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Stocks Down Sharply in Short Week

Foreign shareholders block Turbowicz’s bid for Leumi board seat ■ Netanyahu, Kahlon to announce pick for BoI chief, says gov’t source

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

Tel Aviv stocks down sharply in short week

It was a short trading week in Tel Aviv, but the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished with significant losses on Thursday: The blue-chip Tel Aviv-35 Index dropped 1.3% to close at 1,637 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-125 Index also lost 1.3% to close at 1,480 points. Bank shares closed down 0.4%, while oil and gas shares were down the sharpest, 0.5%. But the biggest drama was in the bond market. Israeli bond prices were off a sharp 0.9% after 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds saw their returns spike to more than 3.2%. Israeli long-term inflation-linked bonds saw their prices drop by up to 0.67%, while the price of short-term bonds dropped by up to 0.2%. Long-term unlinked government bonds dropped by up to 0.84%, while the short-term bonds dropped by up to 0.3%. The Tel Bond-20 dropped 0.28%. The dollar closed unchanged at 3.64 shekels. (TheMarker)

Foreign shareholders block Turbowicz’s bid for Leumi board seat

Yoram Turbowicz won’t be a board member at Bank Leumi, following a vote of the bank’s shareholders at their annual meeting in Tel Aviv on Thursday. Instead, shareholders voted to give Dr. Shmuel Ben Zvi and Dr. Ohad Marani another term on the board. The two are expected to run against. Dr. Samer Haj-Yehia in the race for the Leumi chairman post. Turbowicz is one of Israel’s wealthiest and best connected businessmen, and his candidacy sparked sharp public criticism, due to his relationship with some of Israel’s biggest borrowers. In addition, international consulting company ISS recommended that Leumi’s foreign shareholders vote against him. Yet the committee for choosing board members recommended him as one of their top choices, and even said he was suitable to replace current Leumi Chairman David Brodet. It turns out that the foreign shareholders were the ones who determined Turbowicz’s fate in the vote. (Michael Rochvarger) 

Netanyahu, Kahlon to announce pick for BoI chief, says gov’t source

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon are expected to name their choice for a new central bank chief in the coming days, a government source said on Thursday. Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug concludes her five-year term on Nov. 12 and she will not stand for a second term. If a successor is not named by then, deputy governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg would likely replace her in the interim. Mario Blejer, a former head of Argentina’s central bank, is considered the favorite to replace Flug, although Israeli economics professors Ben-Zion Zilberfarb and Efraim Sadka, along with Amir Yaron, a finance professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, have also been interviewed. (Reuters)