Market Report / Hapoalim Anticipation Boosts Banking Index

Tel Aviv saw a bumpy day yesterday as the leading indexes opened with moderate gains, but lost ground later in the day, finally closing a bit on the green side. After a week of decreasing rates last week, the TASE opened the new week with increases of about 1 percent, and Wall Street opened this week with rises of up to 0.5 percent in its leading indexes.

The TA-25 and TA-100 gained 0.07 percent yesterday. The Tel-Tech index rose 0.8 percent, supported by Wall Street winds that affected dual listed shares, and the sharp rise of 5.9 percent in Tadiran Communication shares following the purchase offering for the company published by its holding company, Elbit. Completion of the sale as planned will result in the company's delisting.

Tel Aviv's banking index rose 1.2 percent, and the Tel Aviv Real Estate 15, which opened with gains, dropped by a modest 0.1 percent. Turnover was relatively high, totaling about NIS 1.6 billion.

TASE trade will continue to be affected over the coming days mainly by financial reports to be released by publicly traded companies through the end March. The market is waiting for the financials from its biggest players including banks, insurance companies, holding companies and real estate companies.

First International Bank published its financials yesterday, reporting a 12-percent increase in profits in 2006, to NIS 509 million. The share responded with a 0.8 percent gain on lively turnover.

Bank Hapoalim, which is expected to publish financials today, jumped 1.8 percent. Bank Leumi also ended the day with an impressive jump of 1.2 percent, with a large turnover of NIS 171 million.

Africa Israel slid 0.3 percent, after raising a NIS 1 billion round of private ifinancing through debentures.