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Tel Aviv stocks ended Monday, the first day of trade in the Year 5762, with a positive bias, lifted from the mire of uncertainty by drugmaker giant Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA).

The backwind of rises on Wall Street Wednesday was bolstered by the strengthening shekel, but on the flip side, investors have been fretting about possible terror attacks on the memorial day of September 11, dealers explained. There is also great uncertainty about a war with Iraq and its repercussions on Israel, they added.

Turnover remained razor-thin at only NIS 137 million, attesting to a powerful reluctance to take positions.

The Maof-25 index finished 0.5% above the flatline at 367.4 points, and the TA-100 index ended 0.4% higher at 357.3 points. The TelTech-15 index also rose 0.4% to 192.8 points.

Drug companies were the flavor of the day, with

Teva Pharmaceuticals



) sustaining a 1.2% gain after receiving two United States Food and Drug Administration approvals on Thursday.

The first was a final FDA approval for 67-milligram fenofibrate capsules, that being a drug used to treat excessive levels of triglycerides in the blood, which can lead to pancreatitis. Teva has been marketing 134 mg and 200 mg dosages in the United States since April 2002, after an Illinois court ruled that the company was not in breach of a patent. The second was for cefaclor, an cyclosporin antibiotic.

Total turnover in Teva shares was NIS 15.4 million.

Drug company

Agis Industries (TASE:


) is ambling ahead by 0.4% after announcing last week talks to acquire a German company that makes pentoxifylline, an agent that reduces blood viscosity. Agis subsidiary Chemagis makes the same chemical, hence the purchase will give Agis a serious standing in that niche in the world. The purchase will also boost the contribution of international sales for Agis, reducing its dependence on the Israeli pharmaceuticals market, which is controlled by the four health maintenance organizations.

The banks have lost ground, with

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Bank Hapoalim (TASE:


) spent the session fluctuating gently around the flatline, and finally wound up rising 0.8% on NIS 17.5 million turnover.

A prospectus published today by

Ellern Holdings (TASE:


) discloses that

Israel Salt Industries (TASE:


) plans to repay bridge loans taken from

Bank Leumi (TASE:


) to pay interest on loans taken from Bank Leumi to buy a stake in

Bank Hapoalim (TASE:


) - using dividends from Hapoalim. Dividends that the Supervisor of Banks asked the banks not to distribute for the time being.

Bank Leumi (TASE:


) stayed in the red after losing morning gains, and finished 0.5% down on moderate turnover of NIS 10.2 million.

Chemicals also oscillated, with

Israel Chemicals (TASE:


) ending up 0.4% on a high volume of NIS 8.8 million, and

Makhteshim Agan Industries (TASE:


) suddenly surging 1.6% on turnover of NIS 2.6 million.

Albaad, which makes cloth-free moist towelettes, shot up 6.4% on uncharacteristically heavy turnover of NIS 2.2 million after tendering today to buy back 7.2% to 8.2% of its shares, at a 31% premium over its current market price.