Business in Brief / Experts Unfazed by Serenity of Stock Market in Face of Unrest

Amir Bramly, facing securities probe, divesting his two publicly traded firms; China’s Fosun briefly posts job opening at insurer it has yet to buy; Tel Aviv shares end mixed in light trading.

Bloomberg

Experts unfazed by serenity of stock market in face of unrest 

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s benchmark TA-25 index has risen nearly 2% this month despite the surge in violence, but that was no surprise to participants at yesterday’s Monday’s Dun’s 100 Capital Markets Forum. “You need to differentiate between the real economy and the capital market,” said Nir Moroz, chief economist at Psagot Investment House. “In the short run, there’s a impact on consumer spending and tourism that will grow if the events continue. By comparison the impact of the markets is smaller because many companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals and Perrigo aren’t affected by the domestic market but the international one.” He added that there are relatively few foreign investors in the market today likely to get cold feet. Yossi Beinart, CEO of the TASE, added that there is growing foreign interest. “We’re hearing about a lot of foreign brokerages interested in the Israeli capital market,” he said.  (Assa Sasson)

Amir Bramly, facing securities probe, divesting his two publicly traded firms

Amir Bramly, who is being probed by the Israel Securities Authority for allegedly misleading investors, said yesterday he was divesting his two publicly traded entities. Bramly said he was selling the shell company that controls his Kela Fund to Eli Nidam for 5.5 million shekels ($1.4 million) and would hand over his 47.5% stake in the waste-recycling firm WTP to his partner Avner Arazi for free, although that will leave Arazi owing millions to Bank Hapoalim. “In the short time I was active in the capital market, I learned it’s a closed place, impossible for small- and medium-sized businesses,” Bramly said. “The essence of the Kela Fund was helping small and medium-sized business and enabling middle-class investors to invest in them.” In fact, investors abandoned both companies, with WTP shares down 90% this year, although it has recovered much of the loss in the last two days and jumped 18.9% yesterday to end at 38 agorot. (Shelly Appelberg)

China’s Fosun briefly posts job opening at insurer it has yet to buy

China’s Fosun group is still awaiting government approval to buy the Israeli insurer Phoenix, but that didn’t stop it from briefly advertising a job opening at the company. On Sunday Fosun posted an opening for chief investment officer at Phoenix, on LinkedIn in English and Chinese — but not Hebrew. Phoenix’s current CIO is Roy Yakir, who is regarded as one of the leading figures in the field. Source said it wasn’t clear whether the job posted by Fosun was for someone to replace Yakir or for someone to represent the company’s interests on Phoenix’s board of directors. Fosun apparently pulled the ad after news of it broke on Sunday and termed the posting an error. “Fosun has complete confidence in Phoenix’s current management,” it said. Fosun agreed in June to buy a 52% controlling stake in Phoenix from Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group for about $417 million. Phoenix shares ended up 0.1% at 10.53 shekels ($2.75). (Assa Sasson)

Tel Aviv shares end mixed in light trading

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed yesterday, with the TA-25 index higher most of the session and all sectors apart from insurance and real estate ending higher for the day. Nevertheless, the TA-25 lost altitude in the final hour of the day, ending down 0.2% at 1,514.35 points, while the TA-100 edged down 0.06% to 1,314.20. Turnover was very light for a second day, with just 916 million shekels ($238.9 million) changing hands. Cellcom Israel jumped 7.6% to 26.19 and its rival Partner Communications (Orange) finished 9.2% up at 9.2%. Allot Communications added 5.5% to 22.09 shekels. But Israel Chemicals extended its losses, falling 2.8% to 20.50, as did Alon Blue Square, which tumbled another 3% yesterday, to 2.29. The government’s 10-year shekel bond traded quietly but it inflation-linked Galil bond rose 0.36% to cut its yield to 0.71%. (Shelly Appelberg)