Business in Brief: Willi-Food Shares Resume Trading on Nasdaq After a Six-week Hiatus

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Electronic signs for The Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average are displayed at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 in New York.
Electronic signs for The Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average are displayed at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 in New York. Credit: AP

Liquidator of Inbal Or’s real-estate company seeks to cut costs

Just days after a court named him liquidator for Inbal Or’s property company, attorney Eitan Erez said yesterday he was moving to slash expenses. Erez said he was moving the firm into cheaper offices and selling off equipment in order to make more money available for creditors as the company is wound up. Erez told Tel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein he wanted to find offices that would cost Or City Real Estate a maximum of 7,000 shekels ($1,840) a month, down from the 80,000 shekels it now pays for luxury space in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center. The request came six weeks after tax authorities detained Or — a high-profile property developer who specialized in organizing residential purchasing groups — on suspected violations. This week, police opened their own probe into criminal allegations, including money laundering. Erez has said he has evidence that Or illegally moved money from one purchasing group to another, sold the same property to multiple buyers and committed numerous tax offenses, among other violations. (Jasmin Gueta)

Willi-Food shares resume trading on Nasdaq after a six-week hiatus

Shares in G. Willi-Food International resumed trading on Nasdaq yesterday after a six-week absence. Trading was suspended February 18 after company co-chairman Gregory Gurtovoy, a Ukrainian-Israeli businessman, was arrested by Israeli authorities on suspicions of illegally taking money out of his BGI holding company and its publicly traded food importing company. In addition, Gurtovoy moved some $3 million out of Willi-Food accounts in January to invest in bonds issued by a European company with no connection to Willi-Food’s core food business. Investigators suspect that the company was used as a conduit for taking money out of Willi-Food and that the bonds served as collateral for a loan that Gurtovoy or someone else took out. Willi-Food shares were down 6.3% to $3.52 in early Nasdaq trading local time yesterday. In Tel Aviv, where trading was never suspended, they ended up 0.5% at 10.86 shekels ($2.86). (TheMarker)

Tel Aviv shares end mixed as dollar weakens

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed in light trading yesterday as the dollar and euro resumed their weakness. The benchmark TA-25 index edged down 0.03% to finish at 1,443.50 points, while the TA-100 finished the day up 0.03% to 1,250.49. Less than 1.09 billion shekels ($290 million) in shares changed hands, Among blue chip losers yesterday, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank dropped 2.7% to 42.01 shekels and Bezeq extended its losses for a 2.5% decline to 8.25. But the two publicly traded mobile operators extended their rally: Cellcom Israel rose 1.4% to 28 shekels and Partner Communications gained 1.1% to 17.80, El Al Airlines tumbled 2.8% to close at 3 shekels amid concern over rising fuel prices. Tech shares bucked the downward trend. LivePerson rose 3.9% to 22.31 and Allot Communications closed up 3.2% to 19.18. The dollar lost more than 0.6% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.7950 shekels. The treasury yesterday conducted its dollar-shekel second hedging operation this week, the time for $304 million. (Ruti Levy)

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