"It is possible the stake of the Discount Investment Corporation (DIC) in Tevel will increase at the expense of United Pan-European Communications (Nasdaq:UPCOY, ASE:UPC),¿ Bank Hapoalim analysts are estimating today in their report on Discount Investment.
Cellcom boosted Discount Investment's profits by NIS 17 million in the third quarter and by NIS 28 million in the first nine months of the year.
Tevel however led to a third quarter loss of NIS 44 million for DIC, and a NIS 94 million loss in the year's first three quarters.
Hapoalim analysts estimate Cellcom will launch its GPRS network in the first quarter of 2002. The only possible inhibitors of the launch are a shortage of suitable devices for the new network, and problems in getting the new network to operate smoothly. The analysts estimate revenues from added value services of the new network will be generated in the second half of 2002.
Bank Hapoalim is concerned with the operating and maintenance costs of two separate networks, a cost that would add greatly to the company's expenses, beyond the $300 million already needed to set up the new network.
The bank values Cellcom at $2.4 billion. The Suary accounting firm, which recently analyzed the value of IDB Holdings, valued Cellcom at NIS 7.5 billion to NIS 10 billion.
Hapoalim analysts are estimating Tevel will continue to post heavy losses in the next few quarters. By the end of 2001 the company's investments will total $100 million, a figure that will grow by NIS 180 million following planned investments in digital converters.