Business in Brief: Ormat to Supply Kenya Firm With Electricity

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange edges higher.

Ormat Technologies

Mizrahi Tefahot names executive to handle U.S. tax probe

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on Tuesday asked Shimon Weiss, its legal counsel for the past 15 years, to handle its negotiations with U.S. authorities accusing the bank of helping clients evade taxes. Weiss, who was supposed to retire at the end of 2014, will instead stay on to deal with the issue exclusively. In contrast to Bank Leumi, which has taken an activist stance vis a vis U.S. investigators and retained outside counsel, Mizrahi has provided only the documents investigators specifically requested, has not made any provisions against future penalties and has until now opted not to appoint someone wholly dedicated to the problem. As a result, Leumi is close to a settlement while Mizrahi is just starting. (Sivan Aizescu)

Allot tops forecast for quarterly profit, sales

Allot Communications on Tuesday reported that third quarter net income, excluding one-time items, grew nearly threefold from a year earlier to $3.1 million as sales climbed 25% to $30.1 million. On a per-share basis, the Hod Hasharon maker of Internet protocol technology earned 9 cents per share, exceeding the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research by 1 cent. Revenue also topped the $29.2 million analysts had forecast. “We continue to see strong demand from service provides for revenue generating services,” CEO Andrei Elefan said. Shares of Allot, which have declined 25% this year, finished down 1.8% at 43.08 shekels ($11.36) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker)

Ormat in accord for Kenya geothermal plant

Ormat Technologies, which develops geothermal energy projects, said on Monday it signed a 25-year agreement to supply Kenya Power & Lighting Co. with electricity from a 35-megawatt project. A 51%-owned unit of Ormat will build and operate the Menengai power plant for which construction is expected to begin after financing is completed. The terms of the power sale weren’t disclosed. When it is completed, Ormat will be operating five geothermal projects in Kenya with a combined 145 megawatts of capacity. The Menengai project is part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative to stimulate economic growth in the region. Ormat shares were down 0.7% at $28.35 in late morning Nasdaq trading in New York. (TheMarker)

Housing & Construction loses power pact

A unit of Housing & Construction Limited has for now lost a contract to supply Ashdod Port with 200 million shekels ($52.7 million) a year of electric power after it failed to build enough capacity by next August as it was contracted to do. Housing & Construction was supposed to increase output at its Ashkogen power plant in Ashdod to 140 megawatts by last year, but due to regulatory problems and a decision by a partner in the venture, Delek Group, to drop out, the plant was never expanded and can’t supply the 30 to 35 megawatts the port needs. Ashdod Port was expecting to buy the electricity at a discount of about 7% to what it's now paying Israel Electric Corp. Housing & Construction shares ended down 0.4% to 8.72 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Avi Bar-Eli)

Tel Aviv share indices eke out a gain

The TA-25 index spent most of the day Tuesday under water before popping higher at the close to show a gain of 0.04% for the day. The benchmark index ended at 1,441.36 points while the TA-100 finished at 1,299.33, eking out a 0.05% advance as 988 million shekels ($260.5 million) in shares changed hands. Top gainers within the TA-100 included Ashtrom Group, which advanced for a second day, up 3.8% to close at 10.67 shekels after an affiliated company won the tender to build the new Haifa port. Babylon rose 2.7% to 2.07 shekels after controlling shareholder Noam Lanir bought 5.3 million shekels of shares in the company at 1.78 apiece. Israel Corp. tumbled 2.7% to end at 181 shekels. (Omri Zerachovitz)