The Ticker: Dollar Jumps 1.6% Amid Rate-cut Speculation

Mylan cancels maneuver to resist Teva bid; Bramly lashes out at Securities Authority; Arko set to buy 175 U.S. filling stations.

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Dollars.Credit: Reuters

Dollar jumps 1.6% amid rate-cut speculation

The dollar jumped 1.55% against the shekel on Monday to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.923 shekels amid speculation the central bank may lower interest rates this week. The move came despite a U.S. Federal Reserve decision last week not to raise interests for now. “The jump in the dollar appears to reflect investors’ expectations that the Bank of Israel will lower interest rates on Thursday,” said Iran Azoulay, head of investments at Epsilon. ”I don’t think the Bank of Israel will act because it is worried that recent government steps will raise the deficit.” But Eyal Cohen of Si Capital said he expected the bank to surprise markets and cut its base rate to zero or even bit negative, from 0.1% now, due to a slowing Israeli economy.  (Omri Zerachovitz)

Mylan cancels maneuver to resist Teva bid

Mylan said Monday that it had moved to cancel an obscure but powerful legal vehicle in July when it was fending off takeover attempts from Teva Pharmaceuticals. Mylan said Monday that it has moved to cancel the preferred shares issued to a foundation created under Dutch law called a “stichting” after the threats to the company “have been sufficiently addressed,” a reference to Teva’s decision to back away from its Mylan offer and instead buy the generics business of Alergan. Stichting is a centuries-old Dutch legal structure that has emerged as a popular tool for companies to fend off unsolicited takeover bids. Stichting Preferred Shares Mylan, as the entity is known, effectively had veto rights over any unsolicited takeover offer. Cancellation of the shares must be approved by Mylan shareholders. Ironically, Mylan is now in a battle with Perrigo, a U.S. company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange resisting Mylan’s takeover offer. (TheMarker Staff)

Bramly lashes out at Securities Authority

Amir Bramly, whose Kela Fund came under attack by the Israel Securities Authority last week, fired back on Sunday, calling the securities regulator “antidemocratic” and behind the times. “I know of no precedent in which the ISA has acted so aggressively against a private company when it’s not at all clear the company is subject to regulation in the first place,” Bramly, CEO of the Rubicon Business Group, which manages the fund, told a news conference. “We represent a new economic era. The authority and the public need time to internalize this and understand what we’re doing.” The ISA issued a warning that Kela was not licensed to manage investments and that its managers were under investigation for securities violations. The warning forced Kela to pull a big television ad campaign. (Shelly Appelberg)

Arko set to buy 175 U.S. filling stations

Arko Holdings is moving to expand its American filling-station empire. The holding company said on Sunday it has taken an option to buy another 175 filling stations in the United States from three different sellers for $30 million, a move that would expand its holding to some 950 outlets. Arko and its controlling shareholder, Arie Kotler, became gas station magnates almost by accident after he made failed bids to buy the property companies Alrov and Azorim. Arko bought its first filling stations in 2011 and has since spent $134 million on further acquisitions in the sector, not counting this week’s option. Shares of Arko, which have climbed nearly 70% in the past 12 months to give it a market capitalization of 565 million shekels ($143.6 million), closed up 1.1% at 98 agorot. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv shares end higher ahead of holiday

Tel Aviv shares ended higher on Monday before taking a two-day break for the Yom Kippur holiday. The benchmark TA-25 index ended 0.5% up at 1,579.34 points, while the TA-100 added nearly 0.6% to 1,380.75, on turnover of 1,38 billion shekels ($350 million). Bezeq finished 4.1% higher at 7.89 shekels and was the most active share of the day after reports that it was in talks with the government about ending the structural separation from its Bezeq International unit. Allot Communications rose 5.2% to close at 20.20 after it said it was moving ahead with plans for a share buyback. Teva Pharmaceuticals added 1.3% to 249.20, while Alon Blue Square tumbled 7.7% to 2.52. The government’s 10-year shekel bond rose just 0.09%, cutting its yield to 2.22%, but its inflation-linked bond advanced 0.61% to a yield of 0.81%. (Omri Zerachovitz)