Market Report / Another Record Day

Another day of gains on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) yesterday saw the TA-25 rise 0.7 percent to another all-time high of 1,035.6 points. This is an almost 12 percent gain since the beginning of the year, with 4 percent coming since the start of March. The recent rise is not something to be sneezed at, since April had only a few trading days - and many were short ones due to the holiday.

Turnover was quite brisk again yesterday, totaling NIS 1.5 billion, but still lower than the almost NIS 2 billion sessions during the intermediate days of the Passover holiday.

The biggest push behind the past few days' gains has been the banks, which rose 4 percent since the beginning of March, after a year and a half of treading water while the TASE rose sharply. Yesterday the banks index actually retreated 0.1 percent as Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) led the way down with a 0.6 percent drop for the day. Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) lost 0.4 percent and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) rose 0.1 percent and Mizrahi-Tefahot (TASE: MZTF) was up 0.4 percent.

The Real Estate Index added to the positive outlook, having risen 3 percent since the beginning of the month, and with a 15 percent rise since the beginning of 2007. These gains were due in a large part to Africa Israel (TASE: AFIL), which has gained 42 percent since the beginning of the year as its Russian property holdings have been revalued upwards a number of times in anticipation of its planned offering in London.

Real estate share trading started off the day yesterday with losses, but ended it up 0.3 percent - mostly thanks, once again, to Africa Israel which rose 2.2 percent after starting down over 1 percent. The share also had the day's highest volume, NIS 132 million.

The positive mood on Wall Street also gave a push to Tel Aviv, as the Dow Jones was on a seven-day green streak, its longest since June 2005. Nasdaq showed slight profit-taking, but also enjoyed six straight days of gains. This week marks the start of the financial reporting period for the first quarter of 2007 on Wall Street, and Israeli company reports traded there are expected to have an impact also on Ahad Ha'am.

In dual-traded stocks, Teva (TASE: TEVA) rose 0.4 percent and NICE (TASE: NICE) rocketed 3.2 percent. Other shares that stood out were Ormat (TASE: ORMT), up 1.9 percent, and Strauss-Elite up 3.5 percent. Bezeq (TASE: BEZQ) rose 1.5 percent.

Retalix (TASE: RTLX) rose 3.1 percent yesterday, after it repeated its guidance for 2007 and also announced a follow-on agreement with 7-Eleven in Norway and Sweden. The company, which develops software for retail and gas station chains, expects sales in the range of $220-230 million in 2007, and to net $9 million to $16 million, it said.