Market Report / Easy Go, Easy Come Back

Easy come, easy go, they say, but yesterday the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange reversed that natural state of affairs and corrected half of the loss it suffered after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon collapsed on Wednesday last week.

The "Sharon effect" cut share prices by 4 percent on Thursday, though that morning losses had been greater than 6 percent. Yesterday, as Sharon remained in a coma at the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Karem, Jerusalem, the TA-25 index rose 2.1 percent to 833 points, the TA-100 index bounced by 2.3 percent and the TelTech-15 index added a steep 3.2 percent.

Turnover was very heavy for a Sunday at NIS 1.5 billion.

The day began with gains of about 1.7 percent, propelled by the banks, which ended the day 2.2 percent higher. Just as the screens were painted red on Thursday, yesterday's color was green across the board.

The trend will become clearer from today, when foreign investors come back from their weekend and the recent holidays. Yesterday there was no trade in the Forex market, but bonds shot up. Long-term Shahars gained 0.35 percent with yields dropping to 6.2 percent. Linked Galils rose 0.64 percent, while yields dropped to 3.83 percent.

Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) rose 2 percent on a tremendous turnover of NIS 390 million, the biggest of the day. Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) gained 3.3 percent.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (TASE: TEVA) was responsible for the day's third-highest turnover. It increased 1.3 percent. Israel Chemicals (TASE: CHIM) gained 2.9 percent and Makhteshim Agan (TASE: MAIN) rose 1.1 percent.

Real-estate stocks soared remarkably. Alrov Properties (TASE: ALRPR) gained 12 percent and Golan Fine Crafts (TASE: GLAN) charged ahead by 19 percent. Delek Real Estate (TASE: DLKR), Habas (TASE: HBS) and Ocif Investment (TASE: OCIF) each rose in the range of 5 percent to 7.2 percent.

Yesterday Union Bank (TASE: UNON) strongly counseled investors to diversify their portfolios with overseas securities. Some 40 percent of the stock component should be foreign, the bank advised. At home it likes exporters less dependent on the local market that still have value to offer over the long run, and named stock picks ICL, Ormat Industries (TASE: ORMT), Makhteshim Agan and Africa Israel (TASE: AFIL) - all of which are highly exposed to overseas.

Discount Investment (TASE: DISI) rose 3.9 percent after announcing that subsidiary Cellcom is paying its shareholders a NIS 1.7 billion dividend. Nice: Discount Investment owns 94.5 percent of Cellcom and is in line for NIS 1.5 billion. Its parent company IDB Holding Corporation (TASE: IDBH), which announced buying NIS 25 million worth of IDB Development (TASE: IDBD) stock yesterday, rose 1.4 percent.

While on holding companies, Delek Group (TASE: DLEKG) climbed 5.1 percent and The Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) advanced by 2.5 percent.

Inspire Investments (TASE: INSP; formerly known as Sadot Research and Development) gained 0.2 percent after announcing that it is buying 50 percent of wet wipes-maker DPL for NIS 18.7 million.