A benchmark index of Israeli shares traded in the U.S. slipped to a one-week low as exporters declined on concern demand for their products will wane amid a slowdown in Europe, the nation’s biggest trading partner.
SodaStream International Ltd. dropped the most this week, while Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) slipped from a three- month high after Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer told a parliamentary committee yesterday that Israel is working on a contingency plan for a euro crisis.The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index (ISRA25BN) of the most traded Israeli companies in New York retreated 0.2 percent to 90.90. Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. jumped 13 percent following U.S. approval of its first drug. Israel’s TA-25 Index rose 0.8 percent in Tel Aviv (PLX) today.
The central bank forecasts Israel’s economic growth will slow to 3.1 percent in 2012, from 4.8 percent last year, as the debt crisis cuts demand and spawns Europe’s highest jobless rate in 15 years, data yesterday showed. About 40 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product comes from exports, with Europe accounting for 35 percent of all trade.
“The numbers we’ve seen in regards to Europe haven’t supported the feeling that we’ve already put the worst behind us,” Zach Herzog, an equity sales trader at Psagot Investment House Ltd., said by phone from Tel Aviv yesterday. “We’re already seeing a slowdown in the Israeli economy and the stocks are certainly impacted.”
SodaStream, a manufacturer of machines for making soda at home, declined 1.6 percent to $34.43 yesterday in New York, the biggest one-day drop since April 27. The shares have gained 5.3 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent gain in the Israel-US Equity gauge.
Western Europe was Airport City, Israel-based SodaStream’s biggest source of sales in 2010, providing 62 percent of revenue, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The U.S. is now the company’s largest single country market, the company said in a press release on Feb. 29.
Israel’s commodity exports, excluding diamonds, totaled 15.4 billion shekels ($4.1 billion) in March, according to an April 29 report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
The euro-region accounted for 35 percent of all consumption, compared with 23 percent for the U.S., 20 percent for Asian countries, and the rest to other nations, the data showed.
Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker, declined 0.3 percent to $45.74 in the U.S. yesterday, slipping from the highest level since February reached on May 1. Teva’s Tel Aviv stock dropped 0.4 percent today to 173.6 shekels, or the equivalent of $45.95.
The Petach Tikva, Israel-based company got 30.9 percent of revenue from Western Europe last year, compared with 48.1 percent for North America and 21 percent in the rest of the world, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Jeremy Levin, a former Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. executive known for overseeing the U.S. drugmaker’s strategy of small acquisitions and partnerships, will replace Teva’s chief executive officer Shlomo Yanai this month.
ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (CKSW), an Israeli software developer, slid 5.6 percent to $10.11 in New York, the lowest level since January. The company’s two largest customers, the U.S. and Europe, account for nearly 80 percent of all sales.
ClickSoftware, also based in Petach Tikva, reported yesterday that revenue rose 13 percent to $21.9 million in the first quarter, compared with the $21.6 million median of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg Israel-US measure trades for 30 times reported earnings of member companies, compared with a valuation of 13 times for Tel Aviv’s TA-25 Index.
Israel, whose population of 7.8 million is similar in size to Switzerland, has about 60 companies trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the most of any nation outside the U.S. after China. The country is also home to more startup companies per capita than the U.S.
Protalix (PLX), the biopharmaceutical company whose debut drug was approved by the FDA yesterday, surged to $7.01 in New York for its biggest one-day advance since Oct. 24. The Tel Aviv shares tumbled 8.9 percent to 26.55 shekels, or the equivalent of $7.03. They soared 14 percent yesterday.
The U.S. drug regulator cleared Protalix’s Elelyso product, used to treat a condition known as Gaucher disease that can lead to spleen and liver enlargement, after delaying a decision originally slated for December.
The drug, chemically known as taliglucerase, was approved for Type 1 Gaucher disease affecting about 6,000 people in the U.S., the agency said in a statement yesterday.
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