Bezeq Drops on Dividend Payment, Competition: Tel Aviv Mover

Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ) fell to a three-month low as investors are no longer eligible for the phone company’s dividend and on concern results will be hurt by competition.

Shares of Bezeq, which offers mobile-phone services through its Pelephone Communications Ltd. unit, dropped 1.3 percent to 4.451 shekels, the lowest level since Feb. 7, at 2:44 p.m. in Tel Aviv. Investors on record on May 1 were eligible for the company’s payout. The benchmark TA-25 index lost less than 0.1 percent.

“Investors are selling the shares after the record date,” Ori Licht, head of research at IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said today by phone. “Investors are also concerned that first-quarter results next week will be lukewarm in light of intensified competition.”

The shares, which advanced 3.2 percent in April, have tumbled 21 percent in the past 12 months as profit has retreated in the last three quarters. Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. and Golan Telecom entered the wireless market in May last year, leading to greater price competition for the incumbents, such as Bezeq. The company is also facing more entrants in the fixed- line market as Israel Electric Corp. sets up a fiber network and as the government introduces a wholesale market.

Bezeq is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

B Communications Ltd. (BCOM), which holds a 31 percent stake in Bezeq according to data compiled by Bloomberg, lost 2.1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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