TASE Shares Lower for Second Day in a Row, Dragged Down by Banks, Oil and Gas

Business in brief: Capital market authority moves up second phase of pension reform | Israel Securities Authority revisiting transaction from four years ago

A large digital ticker shows financial information to pedestrians outside the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016.
Rina Castelnuovo/Bloomberg

Capital market authority moves up second phase of pension reform

The Finance Ministry’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority has acceded to a request from the Knesset Finance Committee and has moved up the timing of the second phase of a pension reform plan. It announced on Tuesday that employers who have not yet carried out a bidding process for pension funds that offer reduced management fees for their employees would have until March of next year rather than March of 2019 to do so. Implementation of the reform began about a year ago, when the state undertook its own bidding process for pension funds offering the lowest management fees. Employers were initially given two years either to transfer their employees to funds that won the government bidding process or to conduct their own process. (Zvi Zrahiya)

Israel Securities Authority revisiting transaction from four years ago

In an unusual development, the Israel Securities Authority has invested considerable staff time in investigating a transaction from four years ago involving the high-tech company RoboGroup TEK, which is trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a market capitalization of less than 38 million shekels ($10.8 million). Within the past week, the ISA reported that the company had improperly approved a transaction by a party of interest and had neglected to publicly disclose it. The concern relates to developments beginning in August 2012, when the company signed an agreement with DDY Wing Aviation and Yoram Doitch, who had an interest in both companies, for the provision of services to the country of Ghana. A general meeting of the company’s shareholders approved the agreement in April 2014. When asked why the transaction is only now being publicly put into question, ISA staff said the case is one of many that the agency is pursuing as part of its oversight of publicly traded companies, which often takes considerable time. (Shelly Appelberg)

TASE shares lower for second day in a row, dragged down by banks, oil and gas

The leading indexes on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for the most part declined on Tuesday for the second day in a row. The benchmark Tel Aviv-35 index closed down 0.43% at 1,460.04 points while the Tel Aviv-135 closed at 1,329.06 points, down 0.38%. Volume for the day was 1.08 billion shekels ($309 million). The Banks-5 index slumped by 0.17% to 1,887.56, as shares of both Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi slid amid high-volume trading in their shares. The Oil and Gas index was off 2.42%, closing at 926.33 points, as news surfaced of an agreement to construct a regional natural gas pipeline. (See coverage on this page). Other stocks that lost ground included Tower Semiconductor, whose shares declined for the third day straight, closing Tuesday at 119.80 shekels, off 0.99%. After soaring 160% in Monday trading, land and mineral company Natural Resource Holdings’ stock closed up another 20.28% Tuesday at 30.55 shekels, on trading volume of 49 million shekels, the third largest of any stock on the exchange for the day. (Shelly Appelberg)