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Isramco Drops to 5-Month Low as IBI Lowers Rating

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Isramco Negev 2 LP retreated to the lowest in more than five months as IBI cut its recommendation on the exploration company to “reduce” from “buy” on Israeli plans to increase taxes on oil and gas profits.

The shares declined 8.2 percent to 0.449 shekel at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv, the lowest level since June 7.

“Since Isramco has only one project, Tamar, it’s possible to estimate the blow the partnership will take,” analyst Guil Bashan wrote today in an e-mailed report. “The hit will be significant.”

A committee appointed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz recommended on Nov. 10 adding a special tax on gas and oil profits, calling for, among other things, a progressive tax starting at 20 percent and rising to as much as 60 percent.

Separately, Moshe Gafni, chairman of parliament’s Finance Committee said today he supports the recommendations of the government-appointed panel.

Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP declined 2.4 percent to 0.414 shekel, Delek Drilling-LP slid 9.1 percent to 12.10 shekels and Avner Oil Exploration-L.P. retreated 6.8 percent to 2.13 shekels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ronit Goodman in Tel Aviv at rgoodman9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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