Technology shares in Tel Aviv sealed 2000 with 7.6% plunge - TheStreet

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended 2000 in negative territory, in line with the general mood this year.

Today's losses were attributed to the drops suffered by leading indices on Wall Street on Friday, and to Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE), which is listed on the Maof-25 index and dived by 41%.

The Maof-25 index of blue chips closed off 1.26% to 506 points, and the TA-100 index lost 1.08% to 489.2 points. The Tel-Tech technology index dived 7.6%. Total turnover was relatively high for a Sunday, at NIS 305 million. Technology shares were mainly pulled down by Nice, which plunged 41% on NIS 61 million, the session's highest turnover, after opening on an enormous negative arbitrage gap fuelled by the revenue and earnings warning the company released on December 28.

Traders groaned that since Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) joined the Maof-25 index, it has brought the gloomy mood on Nasdaq closer to home.

Retalix

(Nasdaq:RTLX) shed 11.7% on lively action, opening a negative arbitrage gap against New York. The losses can be attributed to the disappointment of several analysts from the conference call Retalix management held last week. The company apparently believes it will achieve balance in 2001, which is a disappointment for investors: they had hoped Retalix would achieve significant earnings in 2001.

Other technology losers today included Lipman Electronic Engineering, which lost 7.4%, and

Elron Electronic Industries

(Nasdaq:ELRNF), which shed 8.4%.

Mashov Computers partly offset blue-chip losses, which jumped 18.8% on NIS 7 million turnover in the wake of the tender offer issued by its parent company

Formula Systems

(Nasdaq:FORTY) to acquire all of the public's holdings in Mashov. Formula, which has a 53% interest in Mashov, is offering NIS 9 per share, 20% higher than Mashov's price today.

It should be noted that the tender offer is significantly below Mashov's high point in 2000, which was NIS 49. It will be interesting to see if investors respond to Formula's tender offer. At any rate, Formula Systems lost 8.5% on NIS 13 million.

Oil partnership Isramco dived 13.9% after announcing it is abandoning its offshore drill west of Netanya. But Avner participation units climbed 2.6%, and Delek Drilling added 0.5% on reports the company is to commence in coming days the offshore drilling west of Ashkelon.

Clal Insurance and Migdal Insurance each gained 0.7%.

Bank Hapoalim economists today downgraded their ratings of major holding companies, among them and

Clal Industries & Investments

and

Koor Industries

(Nasdaq:KOR). Investors responded accordingly, sending Clal Industries down 4% and Clal Electronics off 5.7%. Koor shed 2.5%.

Two big offerings took place today. Kardan Capital Investments completed a NIS 84.4 million issue of options and convertible shares. Real estate company Gazit Globe completed a NIS 95 million issue of 15-year bonds. Kardan posted zero trade, and Gazit Globe lost 1.5% on low turnover.