Ormat Defies Market Jitters

Local markets dropped sharply yesterday as bond prices also sank, following the downward trend in global markets. The TA-25 opened off 1 percent and continued to slide, ending down 2.5 percent at 1,137.12 points. This was the leading index's sharpest decline since July 2006. The broader TA-100 index lost 2.6 percent to close at 1,116.58 points.

The most heavily traded stock was Ormat Industries (TASE: ORMT), which bucked the negative trend and shot up 5.1 percent. Traders believe Gazit Globe's parent company Gazit Inc., which already holds a 12-percent stake in Ormat, was buying up more shares and accounted for most of the NIS 277 million turnover. Investment giant Merrill Lynch raised its target price for Ormat after it landed a major recovered energy contract with a U.S. company.

Among the losers were the real estate stocks. Azorim (TASE: AZRM) sank 4 percent on heavier than usual trade, giving back some of its 18-percent gain from the past week. Pangea Real Estate (TASE: PNGD) continued its slide this week, dropping another 1.7 percent on top of its 17-percent fall so far.

Major banks Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), Leumi (TASE: LUMI) and Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) lost 2.1 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent respectively, wiping out gains of up to a percent earlier this week. Bank Mizrahi Tefahot (TASE: MZTF) fought against the current all day, but slid into the red by day's end, closing down 1.5 percent.