Oramed Plans Secondary Listing in Tel Aviv Soon, CEO Says

  • Israeli institutional investors more drawn to small companies
  • First dual-listing this year in Tel Aviv, follows seven IPOs

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. plans a secondary listing in Tel Aviv “in the next few weeks” to take advantage of an increasing number of Israeli investors seeking new opportunities amid new measures to invigorate the stock market, the company’s top executive said.

The Jerusalem-based pharmaceutical company, which listed on the Nasdaq Composite Index in 2013, doesn’t intend to dilute shares or raise money in the listing, Chief Executive Officer Nadav Kidron said in an interview on Monday. Kidron expects “several million dollars” to be invested through ETFs that will have to list on Israeli indexes.

“There is currently a lot more money in Israel looking for new opportunities,” the CEO said. “Everyone used to just want to go to America, and we want to be in America, but also leverage and take advantage of the potential in Israel.”

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which saw only five initial public offerings between 2015 and 2016, has taken steps to attract more trading, initiating a project to get top U.S. analysts to cover dual-listed shares as well as introducing incentives for investors. Since the beginning of 2017, seven companies have sold shares on the bourse. Oramed is set to become the first company to dual-list this year.

Oramed, which is developing orally ingestible insulin capsules to treat diabetes, expects to receive approval for the listing from the Israel Securities Authority in about a week and to list a few weeks after that, Kidron said. The shares rose as much as 1 percent in New York as the Nasdaq fell as much as 1.6 percent, giving the company a market value of $104 million.

Institutional investors in Israel are also drawn to smaller companies, Kidron said. “It opens the ground for Israeli investors to get into the share, whereas if you only trade on Nasdaq you won’t get that,” he said.

The company is scheduled to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in about two months to request approval to start a Phase 3 trial testing the insulin capsules on diabetes patients, and hopes for final U.S. authorization by 2020 and later in Europe. Oramed is also working to get approval in China, where it has partnered with Hefei Tianhui Incubator of Technologies Co.

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