Israel to Weigh Legislation Banning Binary Trading Altogether

Business in brief: Strauss says U.S. hummus sales rebound after recall but profits down | Aeronautics IPO draws NIS 500 million in institutional orders

FILE PHOTO: A financial trader reacts as he monitors data on computer screens at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday, March 9, 2015.
Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Israel to weigh legislation banning binary trading altogether

Israel Securities Authority Chairman Shmuel Hauser’s campaign to ban binary trading by Israeli companies has won a crucial ally in Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who will bring proposed legislation to the cabinet on Sunday.

Hauser has been cracking down on the industry, which by some estimates counts 200 companies and 15,000 workers in Israel, and issued a ban on Israelis trading binary options in spring 2016. The new legislation, which has the backing of the Justice Ministry and attorney general, will also bar Israeli companies from offer binary trading to foreigners, putting a final end to the local business.

Binary options involve placing a bet on whether the value of a financial asset, such as a currency, commodity, shares or a stock index, will rise or fall in a particular time frame, sometimes as little as a few minutes. It’s a risky investment that is usually marketed aggressively by shadowy firms. (Uri Tomer)

Strauss: U.S. hummus sales rebound after recall but profits down

PepsiCo Inc. Sabra brand hummus are displayed for sale at a ShopRite Holdings Ltd. grocery store in Stratford, Connecticut, U.S., Aug. 3, 2011.
Paul Taggart, Bloomberg

Strauss Group said on Thursday that sales at its U.S. Sabra Dipping Company unit had returned to levels before it conducted a recall of its prepared salads in November. Still, the recall costs and lost sales will lower Strauss’ pretax profit by $5 million in the first quarter, said the company, which is a 50-50 partner with PepsiCo in the unit.

Operating profit had been reduced by $5 million in the first quarter due to the recall, which was made over concerns of listeria bacteria. But Strass said that with just three weeks left to the second quarter, gross sales had steadied at higher levels than the first quarter while market share was close to the 62% level it was before the recall. Strauss shares ended down 2.3% at 66.50 shekels ($18.84). (Yoram Gabison)

Aeronautics IPO draws NIS 500 million in institutional orders

An Aeronautics Defense Systems Aerostar Tactical drone.
Bloomberg

Orders of more than 500 million shekels ($142 million) poured in for the institutional tranche of the Aeronautics initial public offering late on Wednesday. The maker of drone technology sold units comprising 100 shares each at 1,850 shekels a unit, 50 shekels above the minimum, which should bring in proceeds of as much as 481 million shekels.

The final price in the IPO, the biggest and mostly closely watched this year on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, will be determined in the public tranche next week. The offering moved forward after Aeronautics’ controlling shareholders, a group of private equity funds and the Shaked family, agreed to trim the before-the-money valuation of the company to $250 million from $290 million.

The shares sold were mostly stock held by the insiders, with just a few tens of millions of shekels of the proceeds going to the company itself from new shares. (Michael Rochvarger)