Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) rose this week and volume climbed to a two-month high as the Israeli potash producer benefited from speculation that Russian peer OAO Uralkali (URKA) will resume cooperation with a Belarusian counterpart.
Shares of the Dead Sea minerals harvester advanced 0.5 percent this week as volume was the highest since the period ended Aug. 1. The stock today gained as much as 2.2 percent before sliding 1.3 percent to 29.10 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv amid a rebalancing in the benchmark TA-25 Index.
Russia has told bidders for Suleiman Kerimov’s 22 percent stake in Uralkali they should repair a rift with Belarus that led to the end of a joint venture controlling 40 percent of global potash exports, Dow Jones reported yesterday, citing unidentified people close to the discussions. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Plymouth, Minnesota-based Mosaic Co. (MOS) were among fertilizer makers that rose yesterday on the Dow Jones report. The Uralkali stake will probably be sold to a local investor, according to the report.
“Israel Chemicals shares will continue to rise if good news about a resumption of cooperation will persist,” Ilanit Sherf, an analyst at Tel Aviv-based Psagot Investment House Ltd., said today by phone. “Until the issue is resolved, we will continue to see volatility in the share.”
Sherf has a price estimate of 34 shekels on the stock and is one of 13 analysts with a hold rating, according to data compiled by Bloomberg . Four others recommend investors buy the shares and one advises selling.
Israel Chemicals shares have been the worst performers on the benchmark gauge this year after Potash Corp. scrapped a proposed takeover in April and as Uralkali said July 30 it would end the Belarusian joint venture, raising concern of a price war on the fertilizer. The 30-day historic volatility for the fertilizer maker rose to 44.51, compared to 16.13 for the benchmark TA-25 Index. (TA-25)
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