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Ratio Oil Drops Most in 2 Months Amid Share Sale: Tel Aviv Mover

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, a partner in Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field, dropped the most in more than two months on concern a new share sale would dilute investors’ holdings.

Ratio retreated 3.9 percent, the biggest decline since March 6, to 0.324 shekel at the close in Tel Aviv on triple the three-month daily average volume. The benchmark TA-25 Index slipped 0.1 percent.

The Tel Aviv-based company, which also holds stakes in the Neta and Roi energy licenses, said today it expects to raise 50.6 million shekels ($14 million) through the sale of participation units and options redeemable into stock until January 2015. The offering has put pressure on Ratio’s shares, according to Guil Bashan, an analyst at IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. The stock is down 4.4 percent this year amid concern over government natural-gas export quotas.

“They need the money to continue their work on their licenses,” Tel Aviv-based Bashan said by phone. “At the end of 2013, there are plans to drill Leviathan for oil. All of this needs money.”

Gross contingent resources at Israel’s biggest natural gas field amount to about 19 trillion cubic feet, consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates Inc. said this month. Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., a partner in the field, plans to drill at the site “later this year,” according to its website. Output for domestic markets is set to start in 2016, Noble said in December.

Ratio Oil’s stock was upgraded to outperform from market perform by Bank Leumi-Le Israel Ltd. on May 6, with a price estimate of 0.4 shekel.

Natural gas discoveries off the nation’s coast are forecast to meet the country’s demand for the next 20 years and enable Israel to become a gas exporter. Israel started natural gas production at the Tamar gas field, situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, in March.

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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