The state's decision to pull the plug on Industrial Development Bank sent its stock crashing by more than 50%, while other Tel Aviv-traded shares fluctuated violently with no clear trend. Investors in each stock responded to events and developments, leaving the market directionless, but on persisting low volumes.

The run Tuesday on Industrial Development Bank was sparked by media reports that the state and the bank's key shareholders have decided to close it down. Although the bank managers scrambled to reassure depositors that the state is backing deposits, most customers accepted the fines on breaking savings accounts, in order to get out while the going is good, as some said. "Who am I to stay if Gmul's pulling out its NIS 140 million?" as one customer put it.

The furor sent its stock spiraling down 55%, but not on tremendous turnover, it must be said. Less than half a million shekels changed hands in all four of the bank's kinds of shares.

Industrial Development Bank is half-owned by the state. Banks Hapoalim, Leumi and Discount also own hefty portions of it. Hapoalim and Leumi have been tapped by the Finance Ministry to buy Industrial Development Bank's deposits and credit portfolio, but the Bank of Israel has balked at Leumi key term that it be allowed to buy Union Bank too.

Hapoalim and Leumi hardly took a beating on the travails of their affiliate. Both banks are expected to publish their quarterly reports later this week. Hapoalim ended the Tuesday up 1.2% and Leumi reversed from earlier gains to finish unchanged.

That aside, the leading indices finished mixed. The Maof-25 and Tel Aviv-100 indices both gained 0.4%, and tech stocks ambled ahead by 0.5%. Total turnover was slim at NIS 156 million.

Market players surmise that the TASE might shake off its summer somnolence after America returns to work on September 3 after Labor Day. Or it might not. Other factors dragging down interest in stocks include the general economic uncertainty, the general political uncertainty, and the general geopolitical uncertainty.

Drugmaker Agis Industries today reported yet another quarter of growth, with its net climbing 56% to NIS 11.7 million. Revenues increased 13% against the parallel quarter to NIS 353 million. Investors applauded and sent its stock up 3.6% on hefty turnover of almost NIS 7 million.

Ituran, which makes systems to find stolen cars and suchlike, today reported that its business has been picking up too. Its net rocketed 315% from the parallel to NIS 4.1 million, on revenues of NIS 63.6 million up 25% from the corresponding quarter of 2001. Its stock scrambled up 7.3% on lively action, relatively speaking.

DBM Investment House manager Rami Dror said that the reports so far have been better than expected, given the depressing macro-economic environment.

Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) today posted a net profit of $554,000, or 6 cents per share, for the second quarter, quite an improvement from the $8.2 million loss reported for the parallel. Formula kicked off the session with a 1.3% positive arbitrage spread with Nasdaq, and finished up 4.5% on high turnover.

Foodmaker Elite Industries also reported sweet results, a net NIS 6.1 million for the second quarter, from NIS 1.1 million in the same quarter of 2001. It too was handsomely rewarded by investors, who sent its ELIT5 stock climbing 2.3%.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA), which is usually alone in the limelight, finished a hair below the flatline on NIS 12.4 million turnover.

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