Israel Chemicals Gains on Cartel Resolution Bets: Tel Aviv Mover

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) rose for a second day, surging to a three-week high on bets a pact dispute that threatened support of potash prices will soon be resolved.

The shares of the potash- and fertilizer-manufacturer advanced 5.2 percent to 27.78 shekels, the highest level since Aug. 20, at 1:15 p.m. in Tel Aviv. The stock has risen 12 percent in two days, paring a 38 percent decline this year. The benchmark TA-25 Index advanced 1.6 percent.

Billionaires Mikhail Gutseriev and Vladimir Evtushenkov are studying a possible purchase of a stake in OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, from billionaire investor Suleiman Kerimov, Forbes’s Russian edition said yesterday. Kerimov’s exit could bring about a change in strategy at Uralkali, which in July announced its departure from a potash marketing venture with Belarus that controlled more than 40 percent of global exports, Kevin Whyte, an analyst at VTB Capital in Moscow, said yesterday.

“There is speculation that maybe the cartel will be restored,” Guil Bashan, an analyst at IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv said by phone today. “This would be a positive for potash producers.”

Israel Chemicals shares have been the worst performers on the benchmark gauge this year after Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. scrapped a proposed takeover in April and as Uralkali said July 30 it will ramp up to full production capacity, raising concern of a price war on the fertilizer.

Israel Corp. (ILCO), which has a 52.29 percent stake in the company, advanced 4.9 percent to 1,642 shekels, bringing its two-day gain to 11 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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