Stanley Fischer Stepping Down as U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman

Business in Brief | Teva hit with $111-million class action suit over alleged non-disclosure ■ Housing & Construction seeks talks for joint control of ADO with rivals ■ Tel Aviv shares end session mixed as telco stocks stage a rally

Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, 2017.
Cayce Clifford/Bloomberg

Stanley Fischer stepping down as U.S. Federal Reserve vice chairman

Stanley Fischer, a veteran state banker who led the Bank of Israel for eight years and helped set the course for modern monetary policy, said on Wednesday he would step down from his position in the middle of October as U.S. Federal Reserve vice chairman. In a letter to President Donald Trump, Fischer, 73, said he was resigning for personal reasons and that the effective date would be on or around October 13. “It’s been a privilege to serve on the Federal Reserve board and most especially to work alongside Chair [Janet] Yellen,” Fischer said, citing the improvements in the economy and financial system in recent years. Fischer’s term as vice chair was set to expire next year but his early departure gives Trump an opportunity to further shape the central bank sooner than expected. Fischer took over as Bank of Israel governor in 2005 but stepped down halfway through his second term to take the Fed post. (Reuters)

Teva hit with 393m-shekel class action suit over alleged non-disclosure

Teva Pharmaceuticals was hit with a 393 million-shekel ($110.7 million) class action suit on Wednesday, accusing it of not informing shareholders in a timely way about negotiations with two major customers, resulting in lower prices for its generic drug products. The suit was filed in Tel Aviv District Court by Avraham Barak, a share-market activist who specializes in filing class actions, and it names Teva’s 14 directors and its top executives as well as the company. Barak said he bought 700 Teva shares on July 4, about a month before Teva revealed the negotiations in its second-quarter financial report. The talks were among a host of reasons the company gave for poor results that sent its share price into a tailspin. Barak’s suit was filed in the name of investors who bought Teva shares between April 1 and August 3 of this year. Teva shares finished down 2.6% at 55.01 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Housing & Construction seeks talks for joint control of ADO with rivals

Housing & Construction, which is controlled by Shari Arison, wants to end the struggle for control of property company ADO and is in talks with real estate investor Miki Dayan about joint control. The offer of talks comes as Dayan, through his company Dune, has accumulated close to 37% of ADO together with the New York investment fund Apollo Capital, driving up ADO shares 10% along the way. The share-buying took Housing & Construction by surprise and leaves the two with a stake almost equal to Housing & Construction’s 40%. Housing & Construction had made offer to buy 10% more of ADO at 56 shekels ($15.77) a share, which is now 12% lower than what they trade at. Right now, the sides have an oral understanding that the Dayan-Apollo group won’t buy any more ADO shares before the offer expires September 10. ADO shares closed 2% higher at 67.28 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv shares end session mixed as telco stocks stage a rally

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Wednesday, with all sectors except telecoms and technology showing losses. The TA-35 index squeaked by with a 0.07% gain to end at 1,393.31 points, while the TA-125 edged down 0.09% to 1,265.72, on turnover of 1.12 billion shekels ($320 million). Partner Communications led telco stocks higher, advancing 2.5% to 19.22 shekels. Cellcom Israel rose 1.3% to 33.27 and Bezeq gained 1.2% to 5.19. Kenon Holdings logged a third days of big gains, ending up 3.9% to 57.50, after reports of least two potential buyers for its IC Power unit’s Latin American assets. Frutarom fell 0.7% to 269.60. The company said it bought 51% of the Israeli company Turpaz Perfume & Flavor Extract in a deal valuing Turpaz at $15.1 million. Safe-T shares briefly rallied on news that ex-Mossad chief Yoram Cohen had joined its advisory board, but by the end of the day the share was up just 0.9% to 11.28. (Uri Tomer)