The Ticker: Nasdaq Team Greeted With Protests by TASE Employees

Mutual fund redemptions reached $3.2 billion in first quarter; Israel Corp. 2015 net boosted by tax income; Bezeq weighs down on Tel Aviv share prices; Israel Corporation 2015 profit boosted by tax income.

Bloomberg

Nasdaq team greeted with protests by TASE employees

A Nasdaq Stock Market team arriving at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday to put the finishing touches on a joint trading platform with the bourse were greeted by a mass protest by the TASE workers’ committee. Scores of employees gathered in the TASE headquarters’ lobby dressed in white t-shirts emblazoned with “TASE workers’ committee” on them. The Nasdaq team was told that workers were boycotting the project, which uses Nasdaq’s Genium INET technology for trading across a variety of asset classes including equities, derivatives, bonds and fixed income. The union fears it will cost jobs and turn Nasdaq into a major shareholder of the TASE when the bourse becomes a for-profit company. The project has an estimated cost of $20 million, which the union has warned will be paid with by issuing shares in the new TASE to Nasdaq rather than in cash.  (Shelly Appelberg)

Mutual fund redemptions reached $3.2 billion in first quarter

Israeli mutual funds suffered redemptions of 12 billion shekels ($3.2 billion) in the first quarter, although in March an upturn of stock and bond prices stemmed the outflow, Meitav-Dash, a fund manager that also tracks the industry, reported on Sunday. All told, first-quarter losses amounted to about 5% of the industry’s 217 billion shekels in funds under management.  But March redemptions amounted to just 1.8 billion for the month, compared with 5 billion shekels each in January and February.  Money funds were the biggest losers in March, with 1.2 billion shekels cashed in while general bond funds lost just 40 million shekels as stock and corporate bond prices began recovering and investor confidence returned.  Traditional mutual funds suffered redemptions all told of 500 million shekels in March, down from 23.9 billion in February and 4.7 billion in January. Index-tracking funds, also saw their pace of redemption by investors slow to just 70 million shekels from a peak of 760 million in February. (Assa Sasson)

Israel Corp. 2015 net boosted by tax income

The Israel Corporation posted net income of $440 million last year, up from $173 million in 2014, thanks in large part to $165 million in tax income, the holding company said in a financial report released on Thursday. The tax income came from its spinning off part of its operations last year into a new holding company called Kenon Holdings in the form of a dividend of Kenon stock to shareholders, on which Israel Corporation was entitled to a tax refund. In addition, Israel Corporation recorded an $82 million gain from the terms of a $191 million loan it took from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs that is due to repaid in Israel Chemicals shares at an effective price of $6.30 each. However, at the end of 2015, the shares were trading at just $4. Contribution to profit from Israel Chemicals, its biggest unit, was almost flat at $249 million in 2015, compared with $240 million in 2014. Earnings from Oil Refineries Limited improved, turning around from a $42 million loss in 2014 to an $82 million profit. Israel Corporation shares closed up 1.2% to 638.70 shekels ($169.25). (Yoram Gabison)

Bezeq weighs down on Tel Aviv share prices

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Sunday, with Bezeq weighing down on an otherwise generally higher market. The benchmark TA-25 index edged down 0.1% to close at 1,448.95 points, with Bezeq dropping 2.5% to 8.26 shekels. The TA-100, however, edged 0.02% higher to 1,250.44. Turnover was a limp 407 million shekels ($107.9 million). Other big losers were Bank Hapoalim, which dropped .5% to 19.21, and Jerusalem Economy Corporation, which lost 3.1% to 6.76 after rallying on Thursday. Matomy plummeted 13.4% to a close of 3.99 after controlling shareholder Ilan Shiloah sold off 2.4 million shares at 4.60 shekels each. Mazor Robotics rose 3.9% to 23.69 amid speculation that a major institutional investor was buying up shares. In foreign currency trading,  the dollar and the euro strengthened on Friday after the Bank of Israel intervened to  to stem the greenback’s weakness. The dollar’s Bank of Israel rate was set at 3.786 shekels, up 0.5%. (Ruti Levy)

Israel Corporation 2015 profit boosted by tax income

The Israel Corp enjoyed net income of $440 million last year, up from $173 million in 2014, thanks in large part to $165 million in tax income, the holding company said in a financial report released late on Thursday. Israel Corporation’s tax income came from its spinning off part of its operations last year into a new holding company called Kenon Holdings in the form of a dividend of Kenon stock to shareholders, on which Israel Corporation was entitled to a tax refund. In addition, Israel Corporation recorded an $82 million gain from the terms of a $191 million loan it took from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs that is due to repaid in Israel Chemicals shares at an effective price of $6.30 each. However, at the end of 2015, the shares were trading at just $4. Contribution to profit from Israel Chemicals, its biggest unit, was almost flat at $249 million in 2015, compared with $240 million in 2014. Earnings from Oil Refineries Limited, its other big holding, improved, turning around from a $42 million loss in 2014 to an $823 million profit. Israel Corporation shares closed up 1.2% to 638.70 shekels ($169.25). (Yoram Gabison)