Tel Aviv stocks gently sank on slow trade Thursday

Tel Aviv stocks spent Thursday lazily fluctuating around the flatline on tiny turnover, as investors succumbed to the sloth of summer, the blue skies and waves, and the uncertainty plaguing the market regarding Israel's security situation and economy.

The Maof-25 index didn't budge much from its dip of 0.1%, nor the Tel Aviv-100 index from its languor, until shortly before closing, when both dipped a tad more to a loss of around 1%. Tech stocks finished flat as a pancake. Total turnover was a painfully thin NIS 134 million.

Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) ended down 0.4% on relatively hefty turnover, on the financial statements filed by affiliate ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL), which said revenues shrank 29% against the parallel to $188.3 million.

ECI's revenues were also low compared with the first quarter of 2002, when the Israeli tech company brought in $195 million. At the bottom line ECI lost a net $7.5 million, or 7 cents per share, on the dot of the average analyst forecast. Its loss was almost 80% less than the $36 million lost in the corresponding quarter of 2001.

Agrochemicals firm Makhteshim-Agan Industries corrected upwards after the pounding it took on South America's economic travails. It gained another 4% after climbing 3.9% yesterday. The company is apparently skiing north on the coattails of rival agrochemicals maker Syngenta.

Elron Electronic Industries (Nasdaq:ELRN) lost 1% after today reporting shrinking income and mounting losses for the second quarter of 2002. It quarterly loss climbed to $15.2 million, or 59 cents per share, compared with a loss of $7.5 million in the previous quarter. For the parallel quarter Elron reported losing $11.1 million, or 52 cents per share.

Elron is controlled by Discount Investment Corporation (TASE:DISI), which ended off 1.3% on a slim turnover of not quite a million shekel.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) gained 0.2%. Today TheMarker reported that it's being sued by a Slovenian company named Lek Pharmaceutical & Chemical Company, which alleges that Teva stole its frmula for amoxycillin, an antibiotic, and used it to obtain FDA permission to market the generic version of the drug in the States. Lek demands $1 million compensation.

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