Cellcom, Partner Gain as Competition Seen Stable: Tel Aviv Mover

Cellcom Israel Ltd. (CEL) and Partner Communications Co. (PTNR), the country’s two largest mobile phone providers, advanced on bets competition in the cellular market is stabilizing.

Shares of Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile phone provider, increased 2.5 percent, the most since March 20, to 30.39 shekels, at 2:15 p.m. in Tel Aviv. The Netanya, Israel-based company was the biggest gainer in percentage terms on the benchmark TA-25 Index, which added less than 0.1 percent. Partner, the second-biggest mover on the index, rose 2.4 percent to 22.65 shekels, while Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ), which provides wireless services via its Pelephone Communications Ltd. unit, advanced 1 percent.

The wireless industry was 95 percent controlled by Cellcom, Partner and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. before the government opened the sector to competition, according to data from the Ministry of Communication. The shares (CEL) of the incumbents have been among the worst performers on the TA-25 in the past 12 months as new operators including Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. and Golan Telecom Ltd. entered the market.

“The feeling in the sector is that competition is calming down and that the new providers are becoming a bit less aggressive,” Sabina Podval, analyst at Leader & Co., said today by phone. “The latest Golan offering is based on a fixed monthly tariff of 99 shekels and not the previous 49 shekels.”

Golan Telecom was advertising an unlimited monthly voice, messaging and data package at 99 shekels on its website today.

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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