Tel Aviv stocks start sluggish Wednesday with mild gains

Supersol up 1.5% on strong first-quarter report
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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has begun the Wednesday session with a positive bias, after Tuesday's sturdy gains. Investors were cheered yesterday by the surprising climb in gross domestic product, and are smiling today after handsome gains on Wall Street.

The Maof-25 index is up 0.4% to 396.9 points and the Tel Aviv-100 index is edging up by 0.3% to 382.2 points. Tech stocks on the other hand are lively, with an 8% starting gain. But the total volume of trade at starting is a lowly NIS 8 million, typical of the lethargy characterizing the Tel Aviv market of late.

The Supersol retail chain is starting the day with a 1.6% gain after reporting a 34% leap in first-quarter net profit to about NIS 54 million, compared with NIS 41 million in the parallel quarter of 2001. The leap is partly due to an NIS 24 million capital gain from selling its holdings in Avnet, one of the partners in a Petah Tikva mall, among other properties, the company reported. Supersol's quarterly income came to NIS 1.71 billion, up 11% against the parallel quarter.

Clal Insurance is unchanged despite today reporting a 41% dive in quarterly net profit to NIS 34.5 million. Most of that drop was due to a 15.8% slide in revenues from non-insurance investments, which led to a first-quarter loss of NIS 21.2 million. In the parallel quarter of 2001 the company lost NIS 5.4 million.

Team is rising by 5% after its subsidiary TTI Telecom International (Nasdaq:TTIL) yesterday jumped 15% on Wall Street after filing its first-quarter report. TI reported netting 36 cents per share for the quarter, a whopping 4 cents over forecasts.