Leading Indexes Fall in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Trading

Business in Brief | Shikun U’Binui wins Defense Ministry contract to build sections of Gaza barrier ■ Paz rises after Excellence Investments issues 'buy' recommendation ■ Rami Levy sues Cellcom over ‘unpaid’ supermarket vouchers

Pedestrians pass the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Ariel Jerozolimski/Bloomberg

Shikun U’Binui wins Defense Ministry contract to build sections of Gaza barrier

The Arison Group’s building and infrastructure firm Housing & Construction Holding Company (Shikun U’ Binui) was awarded on Sunday a 640 million shekel ($183 million) Defense Ministry contract to build two sections of Israel’s new barrier along its border with the Gaza Strip over the next two years. Shikun U’Binui subsidiary Solel Boneh previously won a contract to build the first section of the under- and aboveground barrier. Shikun U’Binui, which has a market cap of 3.53 billion shekels, said the work would enhance the security of Israelis who live near the border with the Strip. Shikun U’Binui shares, which have risen more than 20% in the past year, closed up 1.39% on Monday, at 8.63 shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)

Paz rises after Excellence Investments issues ‘buy’ recommendation

Shares of Paz Oil jumped 2.2% on Sunday following a “buy” recommendation from Excellence Investments but slipped back Monday. The share closed down 0.49% on the day at  583.30 shekels ($167.13). Excellence analyst Michal Alsheich coupled her “buy” recommendation with a target price of 661 shekels for the share, a 15.2% premium over the stock’s opening price on Sunday. In addition to its branded gas stations, Paz owns a refinery in Ashdod — one of only two in Israel. Paz Oil controls 35% of Israel’s market for refined fuels. It sells 49% of its refinery output to its 273 self-owned service stations. Paz Oil also owns Pazgas, which controls 26% of the country’s natural-gas market. Alsheich noted that the barriers to competition in Israel’s retail gasoline market are high, and include a significant investment, a lengthy approval process and difficulty in finding  locations. A major growth engine for Paz Oil’s business is its Yellow chain of convenience stores, which are a fixture of many of its gas stations. (Yoram Gabison)

Rami Levy sues Cellcom over ‘unpaid’ supermarket vouchers

The Rami Levy supermarket chain filed suit in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday against Cellcom Israel, claiming that the wireless service provider failed to pay for 350,000 shekels ($100,000) in supermarket vouchers it ordered from the grocery discounter for the Passover holiday last spring. In its suit, Rami Levy claimed the vouchers were provided over time. It acknowledged that Cellcom claimed the employee who placed the orders for the vouchers was not authorized to do so and was no longer employed by Cellcom. Cellcom’s decision to buy vouchers for Rami Levy supermarkets particularly surprising in light of the fact that Cellcom is part of the IBD group as is Super-Sol, the country’s largest supermarket chain, which sells its own Tav Zahav-branded vouchers. The suit states that the Rami Levy vouchers were sold to Cellcom at preferential terms that included a 4.5% discount on their face value and extended payment provisions of 60 days beyond the current month. Cellcom declined to provide a response to TheMarker. (Adi Dovrat-Meseritz) 

Leading indexes fall in TASE trading 

All of the leading indexes on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange fell on Monday. The benchmark TA-35 index closed at 1,440.59 points and the TA-125 index closed at 1,314.29 points, a decline of 0.34% for both. The Banks-5 index was off by 0.91% to 1,820.61 points, led by shares of Bank Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot, both of which slumped by about 1.1%. The insurance index slipped by 1.26% to 1,732.22 led by Clal Insurance, which closed at 64.26 shekels ($18.41), down 3.66%. Among stocks of note, Nova Measuring Instruments closed at an all-time high of 106.40 shekels, following a gain Monday of 1.14%. Jerusalem Economy was unchanged on heavy trading volume of 50 million shekels. Total trading volume was 1.043 billion shekels. Late in the day came the news that the Delek Group’s Delek Energy firm is considering delisting Delek Drilling in a restructuring plan. (Omri Zerachovitz)