Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. climbed to the highest level in six months on investor bets its dividend will beat expectations after a unit agreed to sell the Yad-2 classifieds portal business for more than anticipated.
Shares of Israel’s largest fixed-line provider increased 3.3 percent to 6.446 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv. The company, which gained 45 percent in the past year, has the highest 12-month gross-dividend yield of all those traded on the benchmark TA-25 index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge declined 0.5 percent.
Bezeq’s Walla! unit entered a binding accord to sell the Yad-2 business to Germany’s Axel Springer Digital Classifieds Holding GmbH for 787.5 million shekels ($228 million) in cash, the company said yesterday. That’s well above the multiple that the European publisher Springer has paid historically for classified ad segment companies, according to Bloomberg Industries. The sale will hand Bezeq a pretax profit of 560 million shekels, the company said in a Tel-Aviv bourse filing.
“The market was expecting a sale at a price of 300 to 350 million shekels,” Ori Licht, head of research at Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd., with more 27 billion shekels in assets, said in an e-mailed note today. “We can expect a dividend payment of 1.3 billion shekels in October, higher than the 850 million shekels payment expected for the first half.”
B Communications Ltd. which holds a 30.88 percent stake in Bezeq, advanced 3.4 percent to 63.70 shekels, the highest since Dec. 24. Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd. which holds a 67.99 percent stake in B Communications surged 8.4 percent, the biggest jump since Jan. 30, to 34.60 shekels.