Israel Corp. CEO to Step Down After Split

Israel Corp. CEO to step down after Israel's largest holding company is split in two; Nice Systems launches search program to track down suspects.

Chen Galili

Israel Corp. CEO to step down after split

Nir Gilad will step down as CEO of Israel Corporation after Israel’s largest holding company is split into two. He will, however, continue to serve as chairman of Israel Chemicals, Israel Corporation’s largest company, and IC Power, its Latin American energy company. After serving as Finance Ministry accountant general, Nir took over as Israel Corporation CEO in 2007 and has earned about 100 million ($27.3 million) since then. He has presided over spectacularly failed investments in Zim Integrated Shipping Services and the electric car startup Better Place. To his credit, he also led the formation of IC Power, which is worth as much as $2 billion today. Israel Corporation will be divided into a publicly traded company listed in New York that will take under its wing Zim, IC Power, the Chinese carmaker Qoros and chipmaker TowerJazz. Israel Corporation, listed in Tel Aviv, will hold Israel Chemicals and Oil Refineries Limited. (Yoram Gabison)

Need help tracking down a suspect? Just ask Nice Systems

Ra’anana-based Nice Systems unveiled yesterday a new security product that can rapidly identify and track a specific person among hundreds being videotaped by multiple cameras at airports and other facilities. Until now, searching for a specific person on many cameras and locations over a long period has been a demanding, lengthy, costly and often fruitless process. Now it can be done within minutes. “While the proliferation of cameras is an important trend in the security market, the burden of processing all of the data has limited the value of the video footage,” said Chris Wooten, an executive vice president of Nice, which specializes in telephone voice recording, data security and surveillance. Suspect Search can be used to track a suspect in a criminal investigation or for more prosaic purposes such as locating the owner of unattended luggage. Shares of Nice fell 1%, to 147.60 shekels ($40.30), in Tel Aviv yesterday. (TheMarker Staff)

Salinger: Public’s confidence in financial services sector low

Dorit Salinger, the commissioner for capital markets, insurances and savings, warned the country’s financial service industry yesterday that consumer and investor confidence was low. A survey conducted by her office found that just a quarter of the Israeli public has a strong degree of confidence in banks and insurers, Salinger said at a conference of directors of publicly traded companies. Among financial service companies, research houses enjoyed the most trust of the public, with 73% saying they felt strong confidence in them. The survey found that the most important factor for investors was the fees charged by a financial institution, followed by trust in the company. Market competition ranked last. “These are the things directors need to pay the most attention to,” said Salinger. Pini Shahar, a deputy commissioner, said he was concerned that many directors were underqualified and often didn’t attend board meetings through to the very end. (Asa Sasson)

Perion sells NIS 140 million in bonds with help from underwriters

Tel Aviv-based digital media company Perion Network has sold 140 million shekels ($38.2 million) of convertible bonds in the institutional tranche of a planned 200 million shekel sale, thanks to 40 million shekels in orders from underwriters Israel Discount Bank and Bank Leumi. Perion, whose share price has tanked this year as so-called Download Valley companies have come under pressure from partners like Google, set the yield at 6.4%. The public tranche is scheduled for today. Perion shares fell 0.7%, to 22.39 shekels, in Tel Aviv yesterday. (Shelly Appelberg)

TA-25 ends down after a five-day string of gains

The TA-25 ended a five-session strong of gains yesterday that brought it to a record high. Pressured by Israel Chemicals, biomed and telecommunications stocks, the benchmark index lost 0.3% to end at 1,452.19, on a turnover of 1.24 billion shekels ($340 million). The TA-100 lost 0.1% to a 1,305.20 finish. A midday effort by the TA-25 to return to the green was undermined by the Bank of Israel’s decision to hold interest rates unchanged for October. ICL was the most active share of the day, ending down 3.1% as 88 million shares changed hands. Other big losers were Partner Communications, off 2.3%, to 26.85 shekels, and Cellcom Israel, which ended down 1.9%, at 41.92 shekels. In biomed, Clal Biotechnology, which spiked higher yesterday, retreated 5% to a close of 4.12, while pharmaceutical and diagnostics company Opko Health lost 2.4%, to 30.15 shekels. In foreign currency trading, the dollar strengthened to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.6580 shekels. (Dror Reich)