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Bezeq Gains to Year High as Investors Seek Yield: Tel Aviv Mover

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. advanced to the highest level in a year as the fixed-line and mobile phone provider with the highest dividend yield on the benchmark index attracts international investors.

Shares of Bezeq, which offers mobile-phone services through its Pelephone Communications Ltd. unit, gained 1.4 percent to 5.53 shekels, the highest level since May 2012, at the close in Tel Aviv. The stock’s 35 percent advance has led gains on the benchmark TA-25 Index this year. The gauge declined 0.4 percent today. The telecommunication provider has a 12-month dividend yield of 19 percent, which is the highest among index members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Foreign investors who want exposure to Israel find Bezeq the best alternative because of its attractive dividend yield,” Dov Rozenberg, an analyst at Clal Finance Batucha Brokerage Ltd. in Tel Aviv said today by phone.

The shares of the company were the second-worst performers on the benchmark index last year as Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. and Golan Telecom Ltd. entered the wireless market in May 2012. Bezeq faces increased competition in the fixed-line market as the nation’s regulator is seeking to introduce a wholesale market and state-owned Israel Electric Corp. sets up a competing fiber network.

“The regulatory uncertainty over Bezeq seems less acute than other sectors,” Rozenberg said.

Israel Chemicals Ltd., the Tel Aviv-based company that extracts minerals from the Dead Sea to make fertilizers and potash, has dropped 11 percent since the government in June set up a panel to review tax and royalty policies on natural resources. Israeli banks, whose shares have underperformed the benchmark index this year, are facing tougher capital requirements and fees curbs by the regulator.

B Communications Ltd., which holds a 31 percent stake in Bezeq, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, gained 0.8 percent. Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd., which owns a stake in B Communications, advanced 2 percent.

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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