Market Report / A Bit of This, a Touch of That

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange had a mixed day yesterday. The Maof index opened with a drop of 0.8 percent, but closed up 0.6 percent. The Tel Aviv 100 closed ever so slightly up on the day, while the Tel Aviv 75 lost 0.9 percent.

The Tel-Tech 15 technology index fell sharply 1.3 percent, pushed by the woes on Nasdaq. Turnover on the local bourse reached only NIS 151 million.

The dollar continued to strengthen yesterday and the indecisiveness of the stock markets was certainly a factor in the wave of withdrawals from shekel-based funds and the sharp falls in shekel-based fixed interest bonds. Market traders estimated that a total of NIS 300-400 million was withdrawn yesterday from the shekel funds, whereas transfers to dollar-based funds reached only NIS 80-120 million.

Bank Hapoalim registered the highest trade on the TASE yesterday, with turnover of NIS 13.1 million. The share lost 0.4 percent, completing a near 10 percent drop over the past three weeks.

Bezeq opened yesterday with a 1 percent slip, but changed directions and closed the day unchanged, on a trade volume of NIS 12.6 million. Teva Pharmaceuticals opened the day's trading with a negative arbitrage gap of 0.3 percent with New York, but closed this during the course of the day (i.e. losing 0.3 percent) on a turnover of NIS 12 million.

Semicom's directors decided yesterday to distribute an interim dividend of NIS 1 million in respect of last year's profits. This comes in addition to the NIS 1 million that was already due.

Semicom deals with electronic components and batteries and the company has several exclusive supply deals with clients around the globe.

Shareholders in IES recently decided to buy the 32 percent of Semicom held by Omega for NIS 8.5 million. The deal rang alarm bells for some, as Haim Geir, a major shareholder in both Omega and IES, was accused of having had found a way to shed his Semicom shares at a premium.

Geir responded by describing the offer as a good strategic move for IES, as it would benefit from the synergy between the two companies.