The Ticker: Three More Creditors Petition Court on Fishman Bankruptcy

Clal Biotech stands to gain from Pfizer’s Medivation acquisition; TA-25 ekes out rise amid world market drop.

Eliezer Fishman in 2009.
David Bachar

Three more creditors petition court on Fishman bankruptcy

Eliezer Fishman’s creditors tightened the noose a little more yesterday, with three more banks joining a petition to declare the tycoon bankrupt. Bank Leumi, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and Union Bank joined a suit originally filed by the Israel Tax Authority to collect 196 million shekels ($51.9 million) in back taxes. The petition was later joined by Bank Hapoalim, which is owed 1.8 billion shekels, making it Fishman’s biggest creditor. In its filing on Monday, Leumi said Fishman owned it 1.7 billion shekels and that the assets he had provided as collateral were worth only hundreds of millions. Mizrahi made a similar claim about the 281 million the tycoon still owes it. Union didn’t specify the extent of Fishman’s debts to it, but they are believed to be between 150 million and 200 million shekels. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein delayed the first hearing on the matter from later this week to September 5. (Michael Rochvarger)

Clal Biotech stands to gain from Pfizer’s Medivation acquisition

Clal Biotechnology shares may get some help from the $14 billion acquisition of Medivation by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The latter noted yesterday in its press statement confirming the deal that one of the drugs in Medivation’s portfolio that interests the company is pidilizumab, which was developed by the Clal Biotechnology unit CureTech and sold to Medivation for $5 million. “Pidilizumab is an immuno-oncology asset being developed for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and other hematologic malignancies and has the potential to be combined with IO therapies in Pfizer’s portfolio,” Pfizer said in the statement. If Pidilizumab, which has performed well in clinical trials, passes through a series of development and regulatory milestone, CureTech will get an $85 million payment. The company also stands to get $245 million in payments if Pidilizumab’s sales reach $400 million a year, as well as royalties of 4-11% of sales. Clal Biotechnology shares ended up 0.2% at 2.79 shekels (74 cents). (Yoram Gabison)

Psagot economist now prefers Israeli over foreign stocks

Stock markets are likely to perform well around most of the world due to record low interest rates and economic growth in Europe, the United States and China, Ori Greenfield, chief economist at Psagot Investment House, said this week. But his advice to investors is to overweight Israel. That marks a turnaround for Psagot, which for a long time was recommending Israelis overweight overseas stocks in their portfolios. “Valuations for stocks on the TA-25 and TA-75 look more interesting that the U.S. and Europe. That’s happened because the Israeli market has underperformed world markets. It’s a good time to bring investments back to Israel,” Greenfield said. The S&P 500 is up 6.9% so far this year, while the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-24 is down 4% and the TA-100 more than 2%. He cites economic growth in Israel, led by consumer spending and expectations for an easier regulatory environment. (Guy Erez)

TA-25 ekes out rise amid world market drop

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index gave up its early upward momentum yesterday to squeeze out a small gain, as European and U.S. markets sagged. The blue chip index was up just 0.04% by the end of the day at 1,471.23 points, while the TA-100 rose 0.2% to 1,292.26. Turnover was 983 million shekels ($260 million). Volume leader Teva Pharmaceuticals posted a 1.2% advance to 201.70 shekels. Spacecom extended Sunday’s gains, prompted by news it would finally launch its Amos 6 satellite, adding another 3.7% to 40.60. But Frutarom ended down 1.6% in heavy trading to 199.20 and Strauss Group lost 1.9% to 60.90. Holding company Kenon dropped 2.9% to end at 43.87 after it reported that its IC Power unit in Guatemala may owe between $65 million and $72 million in back taxes and penalties for the years 2011-2015. The dollar strengthened almost 0.3% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.7810 after hitting a three-month low on Friday. (Guy Erez)