Tel Aviv stocks ended a breathtakingly dull Wednesday session flat as a Dutch pancake on tiny turnover of NIS 108 million.
Holding companies spent the morning in the doghouse but rebounded in the afternoon, while interest fixated on the banks, to their greater benefit today. First International Bank received a boost from news that the Safras were in talks to sell their 52% stake in it to the Ofer Brothers.
Israel's investor community seems unmoved by the drops on Wall Street yesterday, which sent the Dow Jones retreating 4% and Nasdaq tumbling 3.9%.
The Maof-25 index finished a hair above the flatline and the Tel Aviv-100 index fell a tad below it, while tech stocks finished the session with a gain of 0.1%.
One heavy mover was
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) (TASE:
), which has somewhat lost the limelight due to spiking interests in the banks. Today the drugmaker reversed a morning dip and finished up 0.5% on NIS 12 million turnover after starting on a negative arbitrage gap of 0.6%.
Bank Leumi (TASE:
) ended unchanged after a morning drop on selling pressure, continuing a roller-coaster week chock full of news regarding Israel's second-largest bank. While it maneuvers for permission to take over minnow
Union Bank of Israel (TASE:
), some 26.7 million shares released from lockup hit the market, and were largely soaked up without creating too much pressure on Leumi's price. Also, Moody's announced that Israel doesn't need its small banks, which should gracefully allow themselves to be swallowed by the big ones.
Meanwhile, yesterday Tel Aviv brokerage Leader & Co's analyst, Yuval Ben Zeev, released an Outperform rating for Leumi and set its price target at NIS 7.7, some 30% above the market.
Bank Hapoalim (TASE:
), another mammoth of the banking establishment, also U-turned to finished up 1.2% on turnover of NIS 11.7 million, after gaining 1.3% yesterday on a Buy rating from Leader & Co. The analyst set its target price at NIS 9.7, which is 30% above its opening rate today.
Israel Discount Bank (TASE:
), while on the banks, lose 0.3% on tiny turnover.
The IDB group rebounded after several days in the red, following their sorry reports for the second quarter of 2002.
IDB Holding Corporation (TASE:
) finished up 1.2%, and its subsidiary
IDB Development Corporation (TASE:
) gained 1%.
Clal Industries and Investments (TASE:
) is tumbling by 2% and
Discount Investment Corporation (TASE:
) sagged by 0.3%.
Migdal Insurance (TASE:
Clal Insurance (TASE:
) both lost ground after the regulator ordered them to set aside provisions for problems at their overseas reinsurers.