Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares Swallowed Up in Global Market Rout

Tahal wins giant Angolan farm-project contract; Israeli files class action suit against Mylan.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) building in Tel Aviv.
Bloomberg

Tel Aviv swallowed up in global market rout

Tel Aviv shares dropped sharply as world stocks stumbled to their lowest level in a month on Thursday as the dollar pushed above 3.80 shekels for the first time in nearly two months. The global sell off followed news of a sharp decline in Chinese exports, which revived concerns about the health of the world’s second-biggest economy. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index ended down 1.85% at 1,416.23 points, while the TA-100 lost more than 1.9% to 1,241.60, as 1.68 billion shekels ($440 million) in shares changed hands.  Among the hardest hit blue chips, Bezeq skidded 3.3% to end at 7 shekels, Bank Leumi lost 2.2% to 1452 and Teva Pharmaceuticals shed 1.9% to 169.50. Frutarom eked out an 0.8% gain to 200 after it said it bought the Brazilian company Nardi Aromas for about $1.6 million. In foreign currency trading, the dollar strengthened 0.6% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.8140 shekels. The euro lost 0.7% to 4.2028. (Shelly Appleberg)

Tahal wins giant Angolan farm-project contract

Tahal, the engineering unit of Kardan NV, signed a $370 million contract on Thursday, its biggest ever, to develop and operate a giant agriculture project in Angola. Together with its local partners, ZRB, Tahal will develop some 50,000 dunams at a site called Kimina, about 70 kilometers east of the capital of Luanda and operate the farm for seven years, with an option to extend the contract for another five years. Sponsored by the Angolan government, the projects will use the model of the Israeli moshav to create a community of 300 farmers, logistics centers, roads and packing facilities with the aim of producing 60,000 tons of farm products annually. The work is expected to get under way immediately with the first revenue due in the current quarter, Kardan said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. After that, it will generate $52 million in annual revenue. Tahal,  said the 160 million euros ($179.6 million) in funding would come from an unnamed overseas fund.  Kardamn NV shares jumped 10.5% to 60 agorot (16 cents). (Yoram Gabson)

Israeli files class action suit against Mylan 

If Mylan doesn’t have enough trouble amid charges of price gouging on its EpiPen allergic-reaction treatment, it now faces a 100 million-shekel ($26.3 million) class action suit filed in Tel Aviv District Court by investor Lior Friedman. Friedman said he bought 188 Mylan shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at 15.94 shekels and has since absorbed big losses as their price has dropped on the EpiPen affair,  which led to a $465 million settlement with the U.S. government this week. Friedman alleges that the company gave investors like himself misleading information on earnings and revenue. “The company released earnings forecasts with an upward bias based on overcharging [for EpiPen],” Friedman’s attorneys, Israel Wonerman and Yechiel Becker, said in the filing. The U.S. drug company doesn’t have operations in Israel but listed its shares on the TASE last year in an effort to woo Israeli investors in its abortive effort to acquire Perrigo. Mylan shares finished down 2.5% to 14.35 shekels on Thursday. (Shelly Appelberg)  

Sagi buys $370m of prime London real estate

Teddy Sagi, the Israeli billionaire, said Thursday he had bought four acres of London buildings in a 300 million-pound ($366 million) deal that gives him prime city real estate between Soho and Covent Garden. Known as the Holborn Links Estate, the site bought by his property-investment vehicle Citwax includes 34 buildings with 43,000 square meters of floor space. It marks the second biggest London property deal for Sagi, who made his fortune in high-tech, after Citwax splashed out 400 million pounds for the Camden Market complex two-and-a-half years ago and then floated a 71% stake in it that Thursday, trading at a value of 670 million pounds. “The current investment expressed our confidence in London and the British economy even after Brexit,” Sagi said. Already a central location, Holborn Links area will benefit from Crossrail’s opening in 2018, which will bring 1.5 million more people within commuting reach of the area. (Omri Zerachovitz)