Spacecom Wins $55 Million Order for Amos 17 Satellite

Business in Brief | TASE CEO accuses Hapoalim of being behind grassroots drive against restructuring ■ Mall owner Melisron reports rising profits, pooh-poohs online shopping

Spacecom CEO David Pollack.
Spacecom

TASE CEO accuses Hapoalim of being behind grassroots drive against restructuring

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev on Monday accused Bank Hapoalim of being behind a grassroots initiative to block hedge fund Manikay Partners from buying a stake on the bourse. Ben-Zeev made reference to a letter to Knesset members signed by officials at the nonprofit groups the Yedid Association for Community Empowerment and the Movement for Freedom of Information raising disclosure issues about the Manikay deal. Ben-Zeev said his suspicions were aroused because its recipients included Yael Almog, a Hapoalim executive responsible for legal affairs, and because the bank itself had circulated a similar letter in its own name. “We are concerned that Bank Hapoalim has chosen to act via Yedid, a nonprofit that is supposed to operate with compete transparency and in the interest of all the public,” Ben-Zeev wrote the lawmakers. Hapoalim is among the TASE’s bank shareholders that will be losing control of the bourse under the restructuring plan that brings in Manikay as a major shareholder. (Jasmin Gueta

Spacecom wins $55 million order for Amos 17 satellite

Spacecom said on Monday that it signed an agreement with an unnamed foreign company for satellite communications services to be provided by its Amos 17 satellite, which is slated to be launched in the second quarter of 2019. The four-year contract to supply communications services mainly to Africa is worth $55 million and is expected to begin on either July 1, 2019 or at the start of operations of Amos 17, Spacecom said. If required regulatory approvals are not received by July 15, 2018, either side may terminate the agreement and neither will have any liability to the other. Amos 17, which is being manufactured by Boeing and scheduled to be launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is designed to meet growing communication demands in Africa. In September 2016, Amos 6 was destroyed days before its scheduled launch when a SpaceX launcher exploded. Spacecom also lost contact with another satellite in 2015. Spacecom shares ended up 2.9% at 14.42 shekels ($4.02) on Monday. (Reuters)

Mall owner Melisron reports rising profits, pooh-poohs online shopping

Pooh-poohing the growing competition from online shopping, Israeli mall owner Melisron said Monday that its revenue and profits rose in the first quarter from a year earlier. Net operating income rose 2.2% to 273 million shekels ($76.2 million) in the three months while revenues grew by 2.5% to 369.1 million shekels. Net profit more than doubled to 140.8 million shekels from 69.5 million a year earlier. “The strong results reflect the continuous improvement of the group’s shopping malls,” said CEO Ami Levy. “The quality of the group’s assets has led to continued growth in tenant turnover and will enable us to cope with the effects of online shopping on the Internet.” Israeli brick-and-mortar stores have been feeling the pinch as more and more Israelis shop online, with an estimated 12% of all apparel purchases now being done over the internet. For some retail segments, the figure is as high as 60%. Shares of Melisron ended up 1.7% at 150.60 shekels Monday. (Assa Sasson)

Tel Aviv shares mark eighth straight sessions of gains

Tel Aviv shares posted their eighth straight session of gains on Monday, racking up a gain of 4.4% since May 8. After a long Shavuot holiday weekend, the TA-35 and TA-125 indices both finished about 0.8% higher at 1,528.22 and 1,373.38 points respectively, on turnover of 1.23 billion shekels ($340 million). Financial stocks rose strongly, with Israel Discount Bank up 3.9% at the close to 10.85 shekels and First international Bank ahead 2.3% to 80.32. Phoenix gained 3.2% to 20.08. Adika Style rose 2.9% to close at 8.52 after the online retailer said it had managed a turnaround to a 1.1 million-shekel profit from a loss of 1.7 million a year earlier. Hamlet climbed 5% to 85.69 after turning in a 73% rise in quarterly net profit to 4.5 million shekels. Opko Health plunged 16.6% to 14.59 shekels after a crucial Medicare provider in the United States said the company’s 4Kscore product would probably not get coverage. (Guy Erez)