Tel Aviv stocks closed flat on Thursday on heavy turnover, attributable to the expiry of November options on the Maof-25 index - and to nothing much else. Most major players are waiting out the year, market sources said.
The Maof-25 index of blue chips closed unchanged at 413.8 points, and the TA-100 index closed up 0.2% to 397.5 points. Technology shares finished down 0.4%. Total turnover was high at NIS 726 million.
The session began weighed down by Wednesday losses on Wall Street. At one point blue chips were down 0.7%. Toward mid-afternoon stocks started to rise, lifted by European markets and optimistic Nasdaq futures, but the rally didn't last.
Matav Cable Systems (Nasdaq:MATV) closed up 2.5% on NIS 1 million turnover after reporting eroded Q3 revenue of NIS 111 million, and losses of NIS 62.6 million, almost 60% more than in the second quarter.
Agrochemicals firm Makhteshim Agan Industries closed up 1.3% on NIS 29 million turnover, apparently thanks to its successful offering of convertible notes yesterday. The company reported an oversubscription rate of 3.4. The offering closed at NIS 220 per unit, significantly above the price set at the auction.
Israel Chemicals gained 1.6% on NIS 34 million turnover after announcing that the acquisition of U.K. firm Cleveland Potash for $45 million.
Bank Leumi fell 1.8% on NIS 58 million volume of trade after today reporting a 67% drop in profit to NIS 105 million. It set aside NIS 533 million for doubtful debts, 160% more than in the parallel.
Phone company Bezeq closed with 2% gains on the session's biggest turnover of NIS 70 million.
Yesterday Bezeq closed up 1.1% despite weak Q3 results. Net profit decreased to NIS 7.3 million, compared with NIS 84 million for Q2 and a net loss of NIS 811 million in Q3 of 2000. The gains were attributed to the weak Q3 report of cable television firm Tevel, which raised doubts about the ability of the cable television companies to compete with Bezeq in the domestic calls market.
Bank Hapoalim closed down 1.5% on hefty turnover, NIS 60 million. Bank Discount closed off 1.8%, and Mizrahi Bank closed up 0.5%.