Tel Aviv stocks closed with mild gains on Tuesday on a thin turnover of NIS 170 million.
Investors had fretted before the bell about Monday's losses on Nasdaq. They also worried that fighting would intensify today between Israelis and Palestinians as the Arabs had declared today 'Naqba Day' (a day commemorating the "disastrous establishment" of the State of Israel). Happily, it hasn't been disastrous so far. Rising prices in Europe, positive futures for Nasdaq and the absence of bad news at home encouraged mild gains, sending blue chip stocks up 1.2%.
After a brief suspension of trade in the morning, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) stocks jumped 6.9% on a hefty turnover of NIS 31 million more than 20% of the aggregate volume of trade.
The Maof-25 index closed up 0.85% to 423.07 points. The TA-100 index rose by 0.7% to 414.08 points, and the Tel-Tech index added 0.82%. At the opening, the indices had been down by about 2.5%.
This morning, Israeli newspaper
reported that Nice was facing a hostile takeover bid. Nice spent the last three trading days climbing hard, and its share price rose by 11%.
TheMarker.com reported that Koor Industries (Nasdaq:KOR) and the TASE-traded Shrem, Fudim Kelner, a subsidiary of Poalim Investments, is demanding the replacement of four of Nice's board members. The Koor-SFK group owns more than 10% of Nice's shares. Poalim Investments closed unchanged.
David Levy, head of asset management at investment house Tamir Fishman said that despite this morning's concerns, Tuesday's trade was positive, with the TASE demonstrating its strength. Levy said that that the report on the Nice takeover, and Eliezer Fishman's acquisitions of IDB Holdings' shares pepped up the market, showing that it's possible to find stocks at attractive prices today.
Levy believes that the market will continue trudging in the range of 410 points to 430 points, with the lower level the most likely alternative.
Super-Sol (NYSE:SAE) closed up 0.9% on a NIS 4 million turnover. Today the company posted increased revenues of NIS 1.48 billion for the first quarter this year, which were 8.6% higher than during the parallel period last year. But net profit declined to NIS 40 million, compared with NIS 41 million in the first quarter of 2000, which included one-time earnings.
Blue Square Chain Stores Properties & Investments gained 1.4% on a NIS 400,000 turnover. Blue Square Israel (NYSE:BSI) rose by 3.7% on a NIS 1.3 million turnover.
Blue Square Properties' revenues grew to NIS 837.1 million in the first quarter of 2001, which is 14% more than during the comparable period last year. Net profit increased to NIS 26.2 million, which is 11% higher than during the first quarter of 2000.
Net profit of the parent company Blue Square Israel increased to NIS 30.4 million, compared with a profit of NIS 23 million excluding one-time revenues in the parallel period of 2000.
Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) jumped 2.2% on a turnover of NIS 1.1 million. Retalix (Nasdaq:RTLX) closed up 4%, and Matav Cable Systems Media (Nasdaq:MATV) added 6.3%. Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) rose by 2.4%.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) closed down 0.9% on a NIS 4.5 million volume of trade.
Liraz Software jumped 8.5% on a thin turnover of NIS 727,000, correcting itself after plummeting last week after the release of weak Q1 results by its subsidiary Level 8 Systems (Nasdaq:LVEL). Level's troubles are going to cost Liraz $7.5 million for the quarter.
Bank Hapoalim closed up 0.6% on a NIS 9 million turnover. Bank Leumi gained 0.9% on a NIS 10 million volume of trade, and Bank Discount climbed 1.1%.
Phone company Bezeq closed up 1.2% on a NIS 12 million turnover. The company today announced it is launching a corporate venture capital fund, called Stage One Ventures. The fund will back seed stage communication startups.