Market Report / TASE Slipped on Thursday but Closed Up for the Week

Both the benchmark TA-25 index and the broader TA-100 index lost 0.5%.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed down Thursday, after opening on the upswing on rises on Asian exchanges, but major indexes gained on the week. Both the benchmark TA-25 index and the broader TA-100 index lost 0.5% on Thursday, closing at 1,109 and 984 points, respectively. The Banks-5 index dropped 0.8% while the Real Estate-15 index rose 0.3%. Trading volume was thin at NIS 880 million.

The TA-25 index and the TA-100 index closed up 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively, for the week, while the Banks-5 index climbed 2.35% on the week.

Shares of Nochi Dankner's IDB group were the focus of investor attention on Thursday. Bank Leumi was pessimistic about the chances of recovering its outstanding debt from Ganden, a privately-held holding company controlled by Dankner through which he holds his 45% controlling stake in the IDB group. IDB Holding series B3 bonds lost a very steep 7% on Thursday and yields reached 143%.

As disclosed by TheMarker Ganden owes NIS 500 million to Leumi, which has made provisions for nearly the entire sum due to its doubts about collecting the debt. Investor expectation of a going concern warning in the company's forthcoming second-quarter report will presumably cloud trading in IDB group securities. In other IDB group news Discount Investment announced an expected NIS 188 million write-down due to a decline in the value of its Super-Sol supermarket chain.

Azrieli Group earnings

Property developer Azrieli Group reported a drop in second-quarter profit, weighed down by smaller gains from income producing properties. Its stock closed marginally lower on Thursday. Azrieli, controlled by David Azrieli, posted second-quarter profit of NIS 191 million, down from NIS 383 million in the parallel.

The fair value of income producing properties was NIS 99 million, versus NIS 339 million in the parallel. Including a 20% decline in shares of Bank Leumi, in which Azrieli holds a 4.8% stake, the group earned NIS 89 million in the quarter. The company said on Thursday that a 13% rise in net operating income and a decrease in financing expenses helped its bottom line.

Electra Consumer Products, a member of Gershon Zelkind's Elco Holdings group that operates retail chains including Shekem Electric, Machsanei Hashmal and Ace Hardware, reported a 30% increase in revenues in the second quarter. The company had lost 30% of its value in 2011. Its shares rose 2.1% on Thursday.

Shares in the Baran engineering firm will continue to trade against the backdrop of a improved offer by one of Russia's wealthiest citizens, Alexander Nesis, in his efforts to acquire a 75% interest in the company, for NIS 29.50 per share. He had earlier offered NIS 23 a share. The share price slipped to NIS 27.85 on Thursday after jumping 9% on Tuesday, to NIS 28. And shares in the Babylon translation software developers, which had been suffering amid rumors of a divorce from Google, gained 0.3% on Thursday after plunging 9% Wednesday.

In developments abroad before press time, global shares retreated and the U.S. dollar weakened after expectations for further stimulus from the Federal Reserve were dampened and data from Europe and China pointed to a slowing global economy.

With reporting from Reuters