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Cellcom Gains Most in 2 Weeks as I.B.I. Lifts Recommendation

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Cellcom Israel Ltd. rose the most in two weeks as Israel’s largest mobile-phone company was raised to neutral at I.B.I.-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. after the shares tumbled 35 percent this month.

The shares advanced 0.7 percent, the most since May 7, to 30.80 shekels, at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. They jumped as much as 4.4 percent earlier. Cellcom tumbled in May as competition increased and the company reported a 43 percent drop in profit.

“The market is pricing a very pessimistic scenario, even too pessimistic,” Ori Licht the head of research at IBI, said in an e-mailed note today. He had a sell recommendation on the shares.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is forcing telecommunication providers to cut fees and is encouraging new players to the market. Golan Telecom, partly owned by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, and Hot Telecommunications System Ltd. started offering wireless services this month.

Discount Investment Corp., which holds a 47.04 stake in Cellcom, increased 2.1 percent to 8.98 shekels.

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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