Daily Roundup / It Pays to Hire a Woman

Big telecom companies bleeding customers, flight tax not cleared for takeoff.

Psagot repeats Sell for Bezeq stock: Given that the Bezeq phone company delivered a feeble report for the second quarter and lowered its guidance for the year, tut-tuts Psagot analyst Ilanit Sherf, it needs to keep her Sell recommendation. At NIS 415 million, net profit was 50 percent short of her forecast, in large part because of a heavy NIS 107 million loss at the Yes satellite television broadcast company, Sherf wrote. Mobile subsidiary Pelephone admitted to losing about 17,000 customers during the second quarter (all the three big cellular companies have been bleeding users as competition rears its head).

It pays to hire a woman, literally: Women in senior executive positions at the top 100 companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange earn 32% less than men doing comparable work, on average, a survey by BDO Consulting Group for TheMarker concluded. The figures include the whole package, with bonuses and stock options too. Tel Aviv-listed companies have to provide information on the pay to their top five executives. Based on these reports, it turns out that only 8 percent of the top roughly 500 executives are female. The average wage cost of these women came to NIS 2.72 million a year, compared with NIS 3.58 million for men, and there you have it.

Italian firm signs 12-year strategic agreement with Kamada: Chiesi Farmaceutici has entered into a 12-year strategic collaboration with Israeli biopharmaceuticals developer Kamada. Chiesi, which has a line in lung disease, will distribute Kamada's intravenous emphysema drug Glassia, (alpha-1 anti-trypsin) in the European Union. The Israeli company should get $60 million based on regulatory milestones, and Chiesi also undertook minimal purchases from Kamada.

Treasury proposes flight tax: Late Sunday night, as the people of Israel slumbered, the Finance Ministry – floundering for ways to narrow the government deficit - made a new proposal: slap tax on flights. However, the idea was shot down before it could take off. No progress was achieved on whether or not to raise income tax, from which bracket, and by how much. Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni proposes a 1 percent increase from monthly gross pay of NIS 14,700, while the treasury suggests jacking up the levy from NIS 8,861 a month. Stay tuned.

Teva targeted in SEC graft probe: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on suspicion of bribing officials in Latin America. Teva reported fielding a subpoena dated July 9 to produce documents. Saying that it is cooperating with the American authorities, Teva said it is also looking into its business practices. "These matters are in their early stages and no conclusion can be drawn at this time as to any likely outcomes," stated Teva.

Elbit Imaging scores money for bond buyback: Having wrapped up an NIS 37.5 million funding agreement with a foreign bank, which it didn't name, Elbit Imaging bought back NIS 75 million worth of its own bonds with par value of NIS 140 million. The move enables Elbit Imaging to post NIS 65 million in financing income. TheMarker however has done the homework for you and found that the benevolent bank is Citi, which should be getting a piece of the profits Elbit Imaging makes on the deal, not to mention collateral backing the bonds the company bought back.

With reporting by Tali Heruti Sover, Yoram Gabison, Zvi Zrahiya, Michael Rochvarger and Reuters.