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Tel Aviv stocks closed up 0.7% Monday

Bank shares were largely unmoved by Bank Supervisor Tal's instructions not to distribute dividends

Tel Aviv stocks closed with 0.7% gains on Monday. Trading was dull most of the session as investors awaited Bank of Israel Governor David Klein announcement on key lending rates at 16:30 today. The governor raised interest rates by 0.6%, from 3.8% to 4.4%.

Following the announcement, the Maof-25 index was was up 0.8%, and ended the session with 0.7% gains to 419.8 points. The TA-100 index closed up 0.5% to 403.0 points. Technology shares dropped 0.7%. Total volume was low at NIS 100 million.

Mizrahi Bank closed off 0.1%. Controlling shareholder Muzi Wertheim has exercised the option he received five months ago from Abe Feinberg's heirs, allowing Wertheim to acquire the heir's 12.7% interest in the bank. Wertheim is to assume responsibility for the loans taken by the heirs for the purpose of the deal.

Bank Hapoalim closed up 0.1%, Bank Leumi gained 0.2%, Bank Discount closed down 0.4%. Yedioth Ahronoth today published an interview with Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal who said that he has advised the banks to distribute dividends this year only in special cases. Tal said that dividend distribution should reflect economic developments in coming years, and not depend only on current profitability

Market players said that investors who regard investment in bank stocks as investment in bonds with positive dividend yield, may not acquire such shares due to Tal's demand.

IDB Holding Corporation climbed 0.6% and Kardan closed up 0.1%, following estimates that Kardan might renew negotiations for acquiring control in the IDB group. This depends on whether Oudi Recanati will agree to lower the price of his IDB shares.

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IDB Development Corporation rose by 2.4% on NIS 6 million, and Discount Investments climbed 1.7%.

Alony Hetz Properties & Investments closed up 1% after yesterday closing up 3.3%. The income-bearing real estate firm yesterday estimated that it ended 2001 with NIS 27 million earnings, 10% less than in 2000. The company expects a sharp rise in cash flow, to NIS 40 million, compared with NIS 23 million in 2000 and announced a dividend of 22 agorot per share, which comes to 4.3% yield per share.

Blue Square Israel (NYSE:BSI) closed up 0.1% after being rated a Buy by investment bank Ilanot Batucha, which set a NIS 88.3 price target, 24% above the market.

Blue Square Chain Stores Properties & Investments climbed 1.3%, after Ilanot Batucha rated it a Buy, setting NIS 92.6 as price target, 24% above the market.

Electronics firm Lipman closed with 0.5% gains on NIS 2 million volume. The firm has signed another agreement worth some $4 million with the Spanish company Unitech. Lipman will provide Unitech cellular payment terminals.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) closed off 0.9% on the session's biggest turnover, NIS 45 million.