Court Orders Embattled Telecoms Tycoon to Keep Away From Bezeq for Two More Months

Business in Brief | Kenon in talks to sell IC Power unit’s Latin America business ■ IDB gets votes of confidence in IDB Development bond sale ■ Bank shares weigh on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Shaul Elovitch
Eyal Toueg

Court orders Elovitch to keep away from Bezeq for two more months

Shaul Elovtich, Bezeq’s controlling shareholder, was released from house arrest on Friday but ordered by Tel Aviv Magistrates Court to stay away from the company’s offices for two months while the securities investigation against him continues. Elovitch’s attorney Jack Chen objected to the order, which also applies to Bezeq’s Yes satellite television unit, saying he was so deeply involved in Bezeq’s day-to-day affairs that his absence would harm the company. “There are critical decisions that he has to be a part of. You can’t uproot him from the company in so disproportionate a way,” Chen said. In response, the court said Elovitch could join critical discussions so long as he was accompanied by his attorney. Bezeq CEO Stella Handler, who has also been under house arrest, was allowed to return to her job but under strict conditions that include a ban on dealing with regulatory issues, or with any other Elovitch group companies. Shares of Bezeq ended 0.9% higher at 5.35 shekels ($1.50). (Jasmin Gueta)

Kenon in talks to sell IC Power unit’s Latin America business

Kenon Holdings said on Sunday it was in negotiations with several unidentified overseas groups to sell its IC Power subsidiary’s businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Such a transaction, if agreed to and consummated, would be consistent with Kenon’s strategy to realize the value of its businesses for its shareholders, which may include monetization of its businesses,” the company said. Kenon did not say how much the offers were for IC Power, which builds and operates power stations in Israel as well as in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries, and had revenues of $1.9 billion and net income of $21 million in 2016. Separately, Kenon said CEO Yoav Doppelt would step down September 1 to be replaced by Vice President of Business Development Barak Cohen and General Counsel Robert Rosen as co-CEOs. Shares of Kenon, which is controlled by Idan Ofer, finished up 6.1% at 50.32 shekels ($14.10). (Michael Rochvarger)

IDB gets votes of confidence in IDB Development bond sale

In a vote of confidence for its controlling shareholder, the Argentine entrepreneur Eduardo Elsztain, institutional investors on Thursday placed 1.25 billion shekels ($350 million) in orders for a new bond series sold by his flagship company IDB Development. The flood of orders for the Series Yud Dalet bonds caused IDB to more than double the size of the issue to 560 million shekels from an originally placed 200 million to 300 million. The public tranche scheduled for this week should top up the total proceeds to 640 million shekels. The unrated bonds, which will be used to repay existing debt, pay 5% unlinked to inflation, with payment due in December 2022. Investors have taken a shine to the indebted holding group under Elsztain. Its balance sheet has improved after the sale of its remaining 40% in agrochemicals maker Adama for $230 million and improved results at its Super-Sol, Cellcom Israel units and Property & Building Limited units. (Michael Rochvarger)

Bank shares weigh on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Tel Aviv shares ended lower in light trading, weighed down by bank stocks. The TA-35 and TA-125 indices both lost about 0.4% to 1,452.52 and 1,302.12 points, respectively, as just 468 million shekels ($131 million) in shares changed hands. Hapoalim led bank shares lower, falling 1.2% to 24.80. Leumi fell 0.9% to 17.49 and Israel Discount by 1% to 9.06. Other losers included TowerJazz, which dropped 1.9% to 95.87 after eight straight sessions of gains. Housing & Developments’ ADO unit said on Sunday it raised 400 million euros ($466 million) from institutions in Luxembourg. The stock exchange said it was launching a new TA-Bond Shekel 50 index on August 20 that would comprise the 50 biggest shekel-bond issues. The government’s 30-year shekel bond jumped 0.4% to cut its interest rate to 3.27%. In foreign currency trading on Friday, the euro strengthened 0.85% to 4.1400 shekels. The dollar lost nearly 0.5% to 3.5570. (Shelly Appelberg)