First Foreign Investor in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Completes Purchase of Share

Business in Brief | Foresight sales rally on sale of second prototype automotive vision system ■ Analysts divided on timing for Bank of Israel rate rise, but don’t expect one this week ■ ADO Group power struggle rekindled in dispute over shareholders’ agreement

File photo: Visitors stand in front of a stock market ticker screen in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) on August 4, 2016.

First foreign investor in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange completes purchase of share

The first of five foreign groups investing in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange completed the purchase of its stake Tuesday, the TASE said. Dalton Investments, a California firm, paid 64.6 million shekels ($17.8 million) for a 12.9% shareholding, most of which will be held by a trustee and sold to the public in a planned initial public offering of the bourse next year. Dalton is part of an investor group led by the New York-based hedge fund Manikay Partners and includes the Australian groups Sunsuper and Moelis Australia Asset Management and the Danish philanthropic foundation Novo Nordisk Foundation. When the sale process is completed, Manikay will have a 19.9% stake in the TASE and the other foreign groups a combined 52%, of which 32.9% will be held by a trustee, Moshe Tery. The new ownership structure is aimed at making the TASE more competitive and dynamic and reversing years of falling trading volumes and listings. (Eran Azran) 

Foresight sales rally on sale of second prototype automotive vision system

Shares of Foresight Autonomous Holdings rose sharply Tuesday after the Israeli maker of automotive vision systems said it sold a second prototype of its QuadSight camera vision system to an unidentified European automaker. It marked the second sale of a prototype for testing to a European company in the space of three months. Revenue from the sale is expected to total tens of thousands of dollars, but the company stressed that it could lead to bigger things. “Customer satisfaction at the end of the evaluation process is expected to lead to a large order of QuadSight systems by the vehicle manufacturer for mass production,” Foresight said. It also said it could lead to collaborations in research and development, integration, production and other areas. Designed for the semiautonomous and autonomous vehicle market, QuadSight offers close to 100%  obstacle detection under any weather and lighting conditions.  Foresight shares closed up 4.8% at 2.12 shekels ($59 cents). (TheMarker Staff)

Analysts divided on timing for Bank of Israel rate rise, but don’t expect one this week

The Bank of Israel is expected to leave short-term interest rates unchanged again this week, and analysts are split over the timing of a rate increase. All 10 economists in a Reuters poll said the central bank would keep its benchmark rate at 0.1%, where it has stood since February 2015, when the decision is announced Wednesday. Some analysts, including the central bank’s own economists, expect a 15-basis-point increase in the fourth quarter. Others believe an increase won’t come until 2019. Victor Bahar, head of economics at Bank Hapoalim, said the shekel’s recent strengthening reduces the probability of a rate increase this year.”The Bank of Israel appears more dovish than the [U.S. Federal Reserve], and therefore it is hard to envision rates moving higher in Israel in coming months, as the [monetary policy committee] members see the shekel as overvalued, and inflation is still close to the lower bound of target,” he said. (Reuters)

ADO Group power struggle rekindled in dispute over shareholders’ agreement

Shares of ADO Group got a big boost Tuesday amid a renewed power struggle between its three biggest shareholders. At a stormy meeting Monday night, Housing & Construction Limited, which holds 37.5% of ADO, told Moshe Dayan and the Apollo Fund, which have a combined 34.4% stake, that it no longer regarded a shareholders’ agreement they reached a year ago to resolve an earlier power struggle to be in force because its conditions hadn’t been met. Dayan and Apollo insisted that all the parties work to fulfill the conditions through the end of the year. The agreement calls for the three to make a tender offer to buy a 5% of ADO Group and to get consent by regulators in Luxembourg — where ADO’s main asset, a 38.2% stake in a company called ADO Properties, is located — that they would not have to make a general offer to buy out other shareholders. ADO shares rose 5% at 84.20 shekels ($23.23). (Eran Azran)

Mid-session recovery peters out, leaving Tel Aviv shares lower for day

A midday recovery quickly petered out Tuesday, leaving Tel Aviv shares lower for the session. The TA-35 and TA-125 indexes both finished down about 0.2% at 1,649.88 and 1,483.09 points, respectively, on turnover of 1.42 billion shekels ($390 million). Mizrahi Tefahot Bank led TA-125 losers, shedding 4% to end at 64.21 shekels. Electra Consumer lost 3% to end at 36, ending a six-session run higher. Bezeq, which was hit by a 2-billion-shekel class action suit Monday, finished down 1.9% to 4.40. Insurance company Phoenix dropped 0.7% to 20.41 after reporting a 49% decline in profit attributable to shareholders in the second quarter from a year ago. Spuntech climbed 4.3% to 12.61 after it said quarterly net grew fivefold to 12.9 million shekels. Frutarom was again the volume leader, with more than 192 million shekels in shares changing hands, but the stock fell 0.3% to 370.40. (Eran Azran)