Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares Lose Ground in Final Stretch

IC Power's initial public offering boosted to $400 million from $100 million; Migdal quitting insurers’ group to pursue tougher lobbying strategy; Ceragon wins $60 million order from India.

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

IC Power’s initial public offering boosted to $400 million from $100 million

IC Power, the Latin American electrical-power subsidiary of Kenon Holdings, said late on Tuesday that it was quadrupling the size of its initial public offering in New York, from $100 million to $400 million. The news powered Kenon shares 4.7% higher to 44.11 shekels ($11.57) in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading Wednesday because the news came in a revision of the draft prospectus made just a month afer it was originally filed, prompting speculation that the IPO would go forward before the end of January. Investors are also encouraged by the fact that the U.S. stock market is at a record high while IC Power’s Latin American peer companies have seen a recovery of their share prices, all of which promises a high valuation for the IPO. The IPO will include new stock as well as stock sold by Kenon, which will use the proceeds to repay a $220 million loan from its sister company the Israel Corporation. (Yoram Gabison)

Migdal quitting insurers’ group to pursue tougher lobbying strategy

Migdal Insurance said Wednesday it was quitting the Israel Insurance Association and a second trade group for life insurers in a move that sources said would allow it to take a tougher line against the Capital Markets Authority. “The decision was made due to our dissatisfaction with the management of the two bodies in handing regulatory issues in general and directives for implementing the new insolvency regime (Solvency II) in particular,” the company said, referring to new rules being implemented by the European Union and Israel to ensure the industry’s financial strength. Sources said that while Migdal would not formally leave the group until the end of the year, it would begin lobbying regulators on its own immediately and cease cooperating with other insurers. Sources said Migdal often preferred to take a harder line on regulatory issues and had been forced to retreat to maintain a single front with then industry. Migdal shares ended up 1.2% at 3.21 shekels (84 cents). (Assa Sasson)

Ceragon wins $60 million order from India

Ceragon Networks said Wednesday it had $60 million in order from an unnamed Indian 4G operator, for wireless backhaul equipment, and hinted that more was in store. “A tier 1 mobile operator in India continues to select Ceragon’s IP-20 Platform, placing over $60 million in new orders so far in 2017,” Ceragon said. As a result, the company said, it expected first-half revenues to be $20 million to $25 million higher, mostly in the second quarter, than the $75 million to $80 million quarterly range it had forecast in November. Because of the shift in geographic mix of its sale, the company said its gross margin would be below the company’s previous target of 34% in the first half. All told, it added, “These orders serve to increase management’s confidence that it can reach or exceed its previously stated goal of a 40% increase in non-GAAP net profit for 2017.” Ceragon shares, which have jumped 30% in the past two weeks, ended up 2.1% at 13.31 shekels ($3.49). (TheMarker)

Tel Aviv shares lose ground in final stretch 

Tel Aviv shares drifted sideways for most of Wednesday before a slump in the final hours left the main indexes lower. The blue-chip TA-25 index finished the session down 0.4% at 1,439.80 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.3% to 1,260.95, as 1.1 billion shekels ($290 million) in shares changed hands. Among the big losers was Clal Insurance, which fell 2.1% to 49.28 shekels, and Israel Chemicals, which ended down 1.7% at 17.07. Telecoms and energy shares ran strongly against the trends. In telcos, Bezeq climbed 1.3% to close at 7.01, Partner Communications gained 1.4% to 21.84 and Cellcom Israel added 1.3% to 36.66. Energy stocks were led by a 2.7% gain for Avner to close at 2.66. Delek Drilling was not far behind, advancing 2.5% to 14.19 while Ratio added 2.6% to 2.79. In foreign currency trading, the euro weakened nearly 0.5% to a Bank of Israel rate of 4.0702 shekels.  The dollar extended its losses to 3.81 shekels. (Uri Tomer)