Dismal Nasdaq futures drag TASE into red at Wednesday close - TheStreet

TASE indices have gradually dropped about 1% throughout the Wednesday session, on NIS 213 million turnover due to pessimistic Nasdaq futures. The Maof-25 closed down 1.5%, the TA-100 lost 1.25% and the Tel Tech shed 1.4%. Since January 6 the Maof-25 has lost 4.7%, correcting a 17% climb in the two weeks that followed the interest rate cut.

Elco Holdings maintained its positive trend from yesterday with a 7.5% leap on NIS 1.7 million turnover. The share yesterday climbed 4.1% on news the company purchased the giant French electronics manufacturer Brandt for $225 million. Elco will thus have a 90% stake in Brandt, whose sales in 2000 totaled $1.25 billion.

Matav (Nasdaq:MATV) plunged 3.7% after negotiations on its merger with Yes satellite TV were halted following the Communication Minister's demands and the approval provided by his ministry to launch fast Internet services beginning next month.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA), which opened with a negative 0.9% arbitrage gap closed down 1.7% on NIS 23 million turnover, the highest on the floor. UBS Warburg yesterday reiterated a Strong Buy rating for the share, and hiked its target price to $80, 27% higher than its price on the Nasdaq.

Partner Communications (Nasdaq:PTNR) slipped 2% and the market estimated it will take a hit in the coming weeks from Polar Investments selling NIS 19 million of its shares yesterday.

Tower semiconductor (Nasdaq:TSEM) shed 5.1% on NIS 1.3 million turnover after announcing it would raise $22 million in convertible bonds next week, to be invested in its Fab 2 plant in Migdal Ha'emek. The bonds' conversion price is NIS 41, 19% higher than its market price. The CEO of Tower said the company intends to raise another $100 million in the next few months, all of which will be invested in the plant.

Israel Corporation rose 0.4%. It and other investors in Tower are due to invest $9 million in Tower bonds.

IDB shares posted drops as well. IDB Holdings lost 3.5%, IDB Development followed suit with a 2.9% plunge, Discount Investment Corporation dipped 1.6% and Clal Industries shed 0.5%.

Osem lost 2.8% on a Neutral rating from Ilanot Batucha investment house, based on estimates the share was trading at a price higher than its value. Ilanot lowered the revenue forecasts for Osem in 2002 to NIS 127.1 million, compared with an earlier forecast of an NIS 129.6 million.

AMS Electronics rose 9.6% on NIS 500,000 turnover. The share yesterday climbed 9.9% on news of a NIS 160 million contract with Nexus Telocations, which last month won a $50 million tender to provide 1.3 million gas meters to an international company.

Middle East Tube rose 5.3% on NIS 100,000 turnover, on news of approval of its NIS 25 million dividend distribution to be held February 12 according to January 28 results.