Business in Brief / Teva Said to Be Eyeing Mexican Drug Maker

Can-Fite BioPharma shares double in TASE trading after Fast Track announcement; Zeev Nahari, former Leumi exec, appointed chairman of the Bank of Jerusalem; TASE closes lower following Friday’s slump on Wall Street and Fed decision on interest.

Bloomberg

Teva said to be eyeing Mexican drug maker

Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is among the companies that have shown interest in buying the purchase of the privately owned Mexican drug maker Representaciones e Investigaciones Medicas, Bloomberg reported. Rimsa is up for sale and could be worth as much as $1 billion, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs is managing the sale, which has attracted interest from companies including Sanofi, Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories, Bloomberg was told. Although Teva is the world’s largest generic drug maker, the Mexican generic market is splintered and Teva’s share is currently small there. Teva also sells its brand-name drugs Azilect, for treating Parkinson’s disease, and Copaxone, for multiple sclerosis, in Mexico. Most of its sales in the country are to institutional purchasers, such as hospitals  and government procurement agencies.
(Reuters and Yoram Gabison)

Can-Fite BioPharma shares double in TASE trading after Fast Track announcement

Shares of Can-Fite BioPharma continued their surge on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday in a rally that began on Thursday after the company reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had granted the Petah Tikva-based  firm’s CF102 drug Fast Track designation as a second-line treatment for the most common form of liver cancer. The company’s stock closed up 92.85% for the day yesterday, after going as high as 114% up in heavy trading. Can-Fite shares jumped 49% on the New York Stock Exchange’s MKT exchange on Friday, but they have been very volatile. In March the company announced the failure of a drug trial for a psoriasis treatment, prompting a 57% drop in the share price. The price jumped 29% when the company later announced that further analysis of the trial revealed more positive results. (Yoram Gabison)

Zeev Nahari, former Leumi exec, appointed chairman of the Bank of Jerusalem

The Bank of Jerusalem board of directors has approved the appointment of former Bank Leumi executive Zeev Nahari as its chairman, replacing Ze’ev Guttman, who ended his term earlier this month. Nahari’s appointment was the first since a ban on the payment to an Israeli bank chairman of bonuses based on the financial performance of the institution. He will receive a salary of 95,000 shekels ($24,600) a month, along with fringe benefits, for a position that is designated 80% of full time. Until June 2011, when he reached retirement age, he was senior deputy CEO of Bank Leumi. Up to a few months ago, he was chairman of the Arab Israel Bank, which is owned by Bank Leumi, but it has been decided to merge the bank into Bank Leumi itself. Nahari was also a member of the board of Bank Leumi U.S.A. (Sivan Aizescu)

TASE closes lower following Friday’s slump on Wall Street and Fed decision on interest

Shares traded generally lower on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday against the backdrop of share declines on Friday on Wall Street and the decision of the U.S. Federal Reserve to leave interest rates unchanged. The drop on the TASE intensified toward the close of trading. The benchmark TA-25 index slumped by 1.5% to 1,570.92 points while the broader TA-100 index was down 1.4% to 1,372.81 points for the day. The Banks-5 index was off 1.9%. This followed a 2.2% decline for the index on Thursday over disappointing domestic economic growth. Volume, as is usual for a Sunday, was light, at 622 million shekels ($161 million).  The linked Tel Bond-20, Tel Bond-40 and Tel Bond-60 corporate bond indexes were up by 0.32%, but government bonds traded higher. Fridenson Logistic Services announced yesterday that it had completed a round of funding through 27 million shekels in convertible unlinked bonds. Can-Fite BioPharma, which has been on a rally since Thursday, saw its stock price jump an additional 92.85% yesterday. (Eran Azran)