Markets in Brief

Maayan Ventures says one of the startups in its technology incubator in Dimona, Magna B.S.P., has received its first order for a radar system to protect nuclear reactors, from Japan. The order is worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, Maayan Ventures says, without being more specific. Magna adds that the Polish Air Force recently held a successful test of its radar system, and negotiations about a deal are proceeding. (TheMarker)


Excellence yesterday downgraded Partner Communications and Cellcom to Underperform because of intensifying regulatory risks. The brokerage set Partner's 12-month price target at NIS 65 and Cellcom's at NIS 105. If you want to get into telecommunications, you'd be better off with Bezeq, thinks Excellence, which it rates however at a fairly lukewarm Market Perform, based on a neutral regulatory horizon. At this stage, by and large, it thinks the share prices of Israeli telcos are in the hands of the Communications Ministry, and if the ministry adheres to its plans, cellular companies will hurt in 2010. (Vadim Sviderski)

In other Cellcom news, the company said yesterday that an NIS 800 million class action motion against it has been dismissed. The purported class action had been filed in March 2009 in the central region District Court in Petah Tikva, by a user who complained that Cellcom had been transmitting illegal commercial texts. A settlement was reached whereby the plaintiff backed off and Cellcom agreed to donate a "certain insignificant amount" to "worthy causes." (TheMarker)

Apropos of courts, another one - the Jerusalem District Court - has given Sovereign Assets and the bondholders suing for its liquidation ten more days to reach an agreement. Failing that, a new hearing on the motion to liquidate will be scheduled. (TheMarker)

ITGI Medical, which is developing stents coated in live tissue, says it has received the CE European Union marketing approval for its stents 2.5 millimeters in diameter. These stents are used to treat relatively smaller arteries, such as vessels in the brain. The market for stents to treat brain aneurysms is estimated to be worth $700 million a year at present and $930 million a year by 2010, the company says. (Vadim Sviderski)

After having invested $72 million in Shai Agassi's Better Place electric car infrastructure venture three months ago, Israel Corporation yesterday made a move to maintain its 30% stake in the company. Better Place has two types of shares, A (base price $1) and B (base price $3). Type A shares were issued to initial investors, when risk was higher. Yesterday Israel Corporation sold $7.35 million worth of the Type A shares, for technical reasons, and bought Type B shares to maintain its position in the company. (Tal Levy)

Being of colossal proportions relative to its generic drugs peers, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has decided to opt out of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association as of June, to that lobbying organization's dismay, reports FiercePharma. The association just doesn't "reflect the policy priorities" of Teva, the site quotes the Dow Jones, and concludes that Teva prefers to handle its own lobbying effort. The association's management however is unhappy and is scrambling to think up ways to keep Teva, the biggest generic drugs maker in the world, in its ranks. Apparently the dues the association charges are based on a member's turnover, which would help explain the consternation. (TheMarker)

Real estate company Alrov Israel is adopting a new method of financial reporting, based on the fair value of its properties, the company said yesterday. This would increase the book value of its assets by about 25% to NIS 4.1 billion, and increases the shareholders' equity attributable to shareholders by NIS 433 million or 47%, to NIS 1.9 billion. Until now Alrov Israel had booked its assets by cost. Under the new method, its assets will be reappraised yearly. The fair value means the value at which the appraiser thinks the assets can be sold. (Lior Zeno)


Shamir Investments Swing says it's in preliminary negotiations to buy all the issued share capital of Central European Estates, a company registered in the Netherlands whose shares are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The transaction would be a stock swap. (TheMarker)

Paz Oil yesterday raised NIS 640 million by expanding its series of B3 bonds. Unusually, the company did not hold a separate phase for institutionals first: it went straight to the general public. The bonds bear variable interest (Bank of Israel interest plus 1.8%) and have an average duration of 8 years. (TheMarker)