Bloomberg News

Israel TA-25 Index Advances Most in Week on Bets Drop Overdone

January 02, 2012

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Israel’s benchmark stock index climbed the most in a week, after the worst annual performance in three years, on speculation declines were overdone.

Hot Telecommunication System Ltd., the country’s second- largest fixed-line operator, posted its biggest gain since Dec. 26 as Clal Finance Brokerage Ltd. raised its recommendation on the shares. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s largest generic drugmaker, rose 1.4 percent. The TA-25 Index climbed 1.3 percent, the most since Dec. 25, to 1,099.19 at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. The benchmark index fell 2.5 percent on Dec. 29, bringing the drop for the year to 18 percent.

“The magnitude of Thursday’s weakness was a little surprising,” said Saar Golan, a trader at Clal Finance in Tel Aviv. “We’re just seeing end of year, beginning of year volatility. The next few days will have most fund managers planning their strategies for 2012.”

Israel’s benchmark tumbled in 2011 after economic growth slowed as the European debt crisis crimps demand for exports, which account for almost 40 percent of gross domestic product. Concern that uprisings in Arab nations would raise security threats in the region and local protests over the cost of living would reduce companies’ revenue also pushed shares lower.

The economy probably grew 4.8 percent in 2011, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Dec. 29. The Bank of Israel last week cut its 2012 growth estimate to 2.8 percent from 3.2 percent.

Hot Upgrade

Hot Telecommunication climbed 1.4 percent to 48.05 shekels. The company was raised to “buy” from “outperform” at Clal as analyst Tsahi Avraham said Hot’s share of the telecommunications market will increase.

Teva advanced the most since Dec. 18 to 155.50 shekels. The pharmaceutical maker is shipping its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Combivir for HIV in the U.S. The drug will generate “two to three cents in earnings per share in the next 180 days,” Jonathan Kreizman, an analyst at Clal, said Dec. 29.

The yield on the benchmark 5.5 percent bonds due January 2022 fell three basis points to 4.5 percent, the lowest since the notes were sold in April. The inflation-linked bond due June 2013 rose for the first time in five days, pushing the yield down 7 basis points to 0.72 percent, the lowest since Dec. 26.

Shares in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, declined before the start of the earnings season later this month. The benchmark stock index, the Tadawul All Share Index, lost 0.5 percent to 6,386.04 at the close in Riyadh. The measure declined 3.1 percent in 2011, it’s first drop since 2008.

Oman’s benchmark stock index, the only other Arab market tracked by Bloomberg that was open today, gained 0.2 percent.

--Editors: Susan Lerner, Claudia Maedler

To contact the reporters on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net; Wael Mahdi in Cairo at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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