The Ticker / Delek Group Swings to Third-quarter Loss

Housing & Construction’s solar-farm partner files to insolvency; Tel Aviv stocks end mixed in quiet trading

Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, right, and Yitzhak Tshuva, the controlling shareholder of Delek Group, on a drilling rig, March 27, 2013.
Moshe Binyamin

Delek Group swings to third-quarter loss

Delek Group said on Sunday it swung to a loss in the third quarter due to a write-down in the value of its financial investments. Delek posted a net loss of 261 million shekels ($67.3 million), compared with profit of 150 million in the same period a year earlier. Excluding the impairment of 336 million shekels, Delek had a quarterly profit of 75 million shekels. Profit from gas exploration and production was 87 million shekels in the quarter, compared with 38 million a year ago. Revenue fell to 1.7 billion shekels from 2 billion due to lower distillate prices at its Delek Israel unit. Yitzhak Tshuva’s holding company, likely to list its shares in New York in 2016, is divesting businesses as it moves to focus on energy in Israel and abroad. Last month it bought a 20% stake in North Sea-focused oil producer Ithaca Energy for $66 million. Delek shares finished 0.2% higher at 893.70 shekels. (Reuters)

Attorneys demand TASE-listed companies report in Hebrew

Two attorneys are demanding that foreign companies trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange do all their reporting in Hebrew. In a letter to the TASE and the Israel Securities Authority released on Sunday attorneys Shahar Ben-Meir and Yitzhak Aviram took issue with rules allowing foreign and dual-listed companies to release financial and other statements in English. “The great majority of the stock market investors are Israeli citizens for whom Hebrew is, of course, their official language,” they said, asserting that it deprived Hebrew-speaking investors of timely and complete information. The TASE declined to comment on the latter, but a source said the English-language exemption is written into the Seucrities Law and that it cannot change it. The exemption is part of the TASE’s program to encourage foreign companies, as well as Israeli companies that also trade abroad, to list in Tel Aviv. (Shelly Appelberg) 

Housing & Construction’s solar-farm partner files to insolvency

Shares of Housing & Construction Limited fell after its Spanish partner in a giant solar-power farm in the Negev started insolvency proceedings on Wednesday. Spain’s Abengoa acted after a potential investor said it would not inject fresh capital into the energy firm and now has up to four months to reach an agreement with creditors to avoid a full-blown insolvency process and what could be Spain’s largest bankruptcy on record. Housing & Construction, which said it was examining the implications of a bankruptcy won a 28-tear license to build a $1.1 billion thermo-solar plant near Be’er Sheva and operate it for 28 years. Over the weekend, Abengoa withheld a $30 million payment it was supposed to make to help finance the field’s development. Finding a replacement for Abengoa will not be easy since it was the leading company in the thermos-solar-power, but it might continue with Abengoa under a receiver. Housing & Construction shares ended down 2.6% at 6.10 shekels ($1.57). (Avi Bar-Eli)

Tel Aviv stocks end mixed in quiet trading

Tel Aviv stocks and bonds treaded quietly on Sunday, with tech shares trading mostly lower and banking shares ending higher. The benchmark TA-15 index eked out an 0.09% rise to finish at 1,562.95 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.1% to a 1,345.58 finish. Turnover was a paltry 482 million shekels ($124 million). On the positive side, Gilat Satellite jumped 10.4% to 14.42 shekels on news that holding company Mivtah Shamir had boosted its stake. Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel rose 7.2% to 2.76 shekels and Frutarom extended a rally by adding 2.1% to 182.20 shekels. Bank stocks were paced by gains of 1% for Bank Hapoalim, which closed at 20.31 shekels, and Mizrahi Tefahot, which rose 1.1% to close at 46.39. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year Shahar bond edged down 0.06% to leave its yield at 2.10%. The 10-year Galil bond fell 0.28% to a yield of 0.63%. In foreign currency trading Friday the dollar and euro both gained about 0.2% to Bank of Israel rates of 3.889 and 4.129 shekels, respectively.
(Shelly Appelberg)