Bezeq Rises Most in 2 Weeks on Dividend, Rules: Tel Aviv Mover

Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ) advanced the most in almost two weeks after confirming a dividend payment of 1.57 billion shekels ($419 million) in May and amid investor bets it will benefit from regulation changes.

The shares of the Tel Aviv-based company advanced 3.2 percent, the steepest gain since April 17, to 6.313 shekels at 2:44 p.m. in Tel Aviv, trimming the stock’s decline this year to 9.6 percent.

“The market is reacting favorably to the fact that Bezeq is paying out a dividend,” said Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan. “More than the dividend payment, what matters is that the fundamentals for the company are looking good.”

As part of a new policy for the telecommunications market, the Ministry of Communications will set a date to cancel the state-enforced structural division of Bezeq, the ministry said on April 17. This would allow Bezeq to integrate business lines -- such as Internet or satellite television -- rather than running them as separate units and allowing for cost savings. The government’s new policy, which will allow new entrants to buy space on networks owned by existing companies, such as Bezeq and Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. (HOT), will also eliminate state supervision of prices.

“The lifting of the state supervision of prices and the fact that the lease of the network prices will be set through negotiations, almost guarantees that the wholesale market will not become a serious factor for Bezeq,” Alper said. Bezeq has risen 8.2 percent since the ministry’s announcement.

Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd. (IGLD), which has a stake in Bezeq via its B Communications Ltd. (BCOM) unit, advanced 3.2 percent to 23.15 shekels, the highest since April 24. B Communications, owner of a 31 percent interest in Bezeq, advanced 4.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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