The Ticker: MediWound Shares Soars on $112m Deal With U.S. Agency

Ituran reaches joint venture pact with General Motors Brazil unit; Securities offerings drop 30% in 3rd quarter.

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MediWound shares soars on $112m deal with U.S. agency

Shares of MediWound soared yesterday after the company said it had signed a five-year, $112 million contract with an American emergency medical agency to further develop and buy the company’s treatment for severe burns. MediWound said the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority would buy up to $88 million of MediWound’s NexoBrid, a topical treatment that removes damaged tissue, as part of a disaster-preparedness program. BARDA will also subsidize costs that could reach another $24 million to help MediWound get final U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for NexoBrid. “BARDA’s commitment underscores the important role NexoBrid might play in preparing for mass casualty events where subsequent surgical capacity is limited and rapid severity assessment and intervention are imperative,” said MediWound CEO Gal Cohen, who added that the deal would free up capital to further advance the company’s pipeline of drugs in development. Shares of MediWound were up 23.4% at $7.70 late morning local time in New York. (Shelly Appelberg)

Ituran reaches joint venture pact with General Motors Brazil unit

After two years of negotiations, Ituran’s Brazilian subsidiary has signed a four-year agreement with a “global automaker” to install its vehicle security and remote diagnostic equipment in cars sold in the Brazilian market. Brazilian media outlets have identified the vehicle manufacturer as General Motors. Under the agreement, Ituran’s services, which go under the name Concierge, will be offered through a 50-50 joint venture called Ituran Road Track. It said the joint venture will require investment in its running-in phase that will result in a “not significant” loss for Ituran but that in 2017 it should become profitable. The agreement “very much strengthens our position, as we evolve into a player in the automotive industry after two decades of operating in the aftermarket segment only,” Ituran CEO Eyal Sheratzki said yesterday. Ituran shares closed up 1.1% at 80.69 shekels ($20.56). (Eran Azran)

Securities offerings drop 30% in 3rd quarter

The value of new securities offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plunged 30% in the third quarter from the same time in 2014 to just 11.9 billion shekels ($3.03 billion), Rosario Capital reported yesterday. Bond issues accounted for 97% of the capital raised, with equity offerings reaching just 268 million shekels. “Declining global markets in August were among the factors that brought about a drop in fundraising,” said Rosario vice chairwoman Noga Knaz, adding, “The minute the market turned negative, many companies opted to delay offerings by a month or two.” Another source, who asked not to be named, blamed failed high-profile bond sales by U.S. property developers. Nevertheless,  Knaz noted that even with the sharp drop in the third quarter, fundraising is about in line with 2014 levels at an annualized rate of 40 billion shekels. (Eran Azran)

TA-25 ekes out small gain for day, ends sharply lower for month

Tel Aviv shares squeezed out a small gain yesterday, as global stock markets recovered. The benchmark TA-25 index ended 0.06% up for the day at 1,490.98 points while the TA-100 index was off 0.2% at 1,300.40. Turnover was 1.17 billion shekels ($300 million). But the day capped a miserable month that saw the TA-25 index lose 5.5% and the TA-100 6.2%. “The market’s weakness will continue, not only because of external factors but also due to the absence of a clear government policy that responds to the slowing domestic economy,” said Idan Azoulay of Epsilon Investment House. Among yesterday’s big gainers, Alon Blue Square rallied for a second day, adding 5% to end at 2.73 shekels while Israel Chemicals rose 2.4% to a 20.18 close. Wireless carriers were down sharply: Partner Communications (Orange) dropped 5.9% to 15.55 and Cellcom Israel 4.8% to 24.60, apparently amid concerns that the Communications Ministry is favoring rival Bezeq. (Eran Azran)