Israeli Stocks: AudioCodes, Leumi, Hapoalim, Israel Land

Israel’s TA-25 Index tumbled to the lowest level in three weeks, dropping 3.8 percent to 1,020.92 at the 4:30 p.m. in Tel Aviv. Investors traded about 1.6 billion shekels ($427 million) of shares and convertible securities today, according to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange data.

The following stocks rose or fell today. Symbols are in parentheses.

AudioCodes Ltd. (AUDC IT) slid the most since March 2007, plunging 16 percent to 8.888 shekels, the equivalent of $2.37. The U.S.-traded shares of the maker of technology to enable Internet phone calls slumped 27 percent to $2.29 yesterday after AudioCodes lowered its earnings outlook.

BioCancell Therapeutics Inc. (BICL IT) advanced the most since Aug. 1, jumping 6.3 percent to 1.46 shekels. The biotechnology company, which develops pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its BC-819 pancreatic-cancer treatment “fast track” status.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. (LUMI IT) and Bank Hapoalim Ltd. (POLI IT) closed at the lowest level in more than two years. Leumi dropped 5.2 percent to 10.79 shekels and Hapoalim tumbled 6 percent to 12.34 shekels. Globes reported today that the Bank of Israel plans to raise the core Tier-1 capital adequacy ratio required by lenders to 11 percent.

Clal Finance Brokerage Ltd. lowered its recommendation on Hapoalim, Israel Discount Bank Ltd. (DSCT IT), Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd. (MZTF IT) and First International Bank of Israel Ltd. (FTIN IT) to “market perform” from “outperform.” It removed its share-price estimates for all the banks, including Leumi, which was rated “market perform.” Discount shares dropped 8.7 percent to 5.25 shekels, Mizrahi-Tefahot lost 8 percent to 29.45 shekels and First International tumbled 9.1 percent to 35.38 shekels.

DS Brokerage Ltd. lowered the recommendation on Israel’s five largest lenders to “market perform” from “outperform,” and placed the banks’ share-price estimates under review.

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL IT) slumped to the lowest level since July 2009, tumbling 4.8 percent to 39.30 shekels. Corn and wheat prices fell as supply concerns eased amid signs of increased stockpiles and slowing demand for exports from the U.S., the world’s largest shipper of both grains.

Israel Land Development Co. Energy Ltd. (IE IT) advanced to the highest since Aug. 22, increasing 5.3 percent to 1 shekel. The natural-gas explorer said it’s in talks with Israel Corp. (ILCO IT) and other entities for an investment in the company. Israel Corp. retreated 5.8 percent to 2,280 shekels.

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