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Africa-Israel Drops as Property Unit Loss Widens: Tel Aviv Mover

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Africa-Israel Investments Ltd., the holding company owned by billionaire Lev Leviev, fell to a record low after quarterly losses at its property unit widened and a U.S. unit lost control of a Manhattan apartment building.

The shares plunged 19 percent to 6.232 shekels, the lowest since the stock was listed in January 1995, at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. Africa Israel Properties Ltd. shares slumped 5 percent to 22.83 shekels, the lowest since Dec. 25, after reporting a second-quarter loss of 23.2 million shekels ($5.8 million) compared with 449,000 shekels a year earlier.

“The string of bad news is creating a negative sentiment in the market and we don’t know where it will end,” Amir Arad, an analyst for Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel said today by phone.

The holding company’s shares have plunged 36 percent since Aug. 13, when its AFI Development Plc unit, a developer of real estate in Russia, said that the value of its properties declined by about $400 million because of changes in Moscow planning policy and the ruble’s depreciation against the dollar. Africa Israel’s U.S. unit lost control of New York City’s landmark Apthorp apartment building after a project recapitalization.

Africa-Israel said it expects a loss as much as 800 million shekels in the second quarter from AFI’s lower valuation. The holding company’s shares have lost 45 percent this year compared with a 0.6 percent gain in the benchmark TA-25 index.

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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