(photo credit: Associated Press)
Gasoline prices to hit new record • By KOBY YESHAYAHOU
price of gasoline will go up to a new record at midnight on January 31. The
price of self-service 95 octane gasoline will go up 1.68 percent to NIS 7.26 per
liter from NIS 7.14 this month.
The NIS 0.13 per liter fee for full
service is unchanged.
The Transport Ministry attributes the increase to a
1.39% ($0.01 per liter) rise in the price of CIF La Vera trade prices for fuels
in the Mediterranean basin, which comprises 32% of the cost of fuel in Israel.
The shekeldollar exchange rate rose 2.9% in January, also contributing NIS 0.12
per liter, plus VAT, to the rise in price of gasoline.
MKs are trying to
reverse the hike in excise on fuel, which came into effect on January 1, but the
Finance Ministry opposes this effort. The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee
will discuss the matter this week.Ma’ariv to become freesheet
• By LIOR
Zaki Rakib, the new controlling shareholder of Hebrew daily Ma’ariv,
plans to abolish within weeks its business and magazine supplements, which will
become part of the news pages.
The measures were planned a long time ago,
and are part of the recently completed redesign of the paper, which will be
launched in its new format in a few days.
The daily paper’s Sports and
Style supplements will remain as separate supplements.
The measures were
the first steps toward a general restructuring, which will emphasize the paper’s
weekend edition over its daily edition. The daily edition will be distributed
for free, and could be eliminated altogether in favor of the paper’s website and
planned tablet edition as part of a transition to the new media world. The
consolidation already carried out included the firing of several employees, and
the upcoming consolidation will reportedly involve more layoffs.Cabinet
okays alternative energy plan
The cabinet on Sunday approved a program to
develop alternative-energy technologies for transportation aimed at reducing
global dependence on oil and improving the environment.
will invest NIS 1.5 billion over the next 10 years in the program, the prime
minister’s office said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.
to oil leads to dependence by the Western world on the oil-producing countries
and harms the environment,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the
statement. “It also has significant implications for Israel.” Under the program,
created by a team headed by Eugene Kandel, the head of the National Economic
Council, the government will offer incentives for investment in developing
alternative- energy technologies for transportation, and will boost investment
in this area. The government will also increase cooperation with foreign
governments and Israeli and international companies. • Bloomberg Azrieli buys
Houston financial center
• By AVI SHAULY
Azrieli Group Ltd. has bought the
Galleria Financial Center in Houston for $176 million. The properties were
bought through subsidiary Three Galleria Office Buildings LLC, in which Azrieli
owns a 90% stake.
Azrieli did not disclose the name of the seller
“Azrieli Group focuses its strategic investments in the Israeli economy.
However, when global business opportunities arise that meet the company’s strict
standards for income-producing deals, we seize them,” said Azrieli Group
president Menachem Einan. “This deal in Houston follows previous transactions in
the city, and is an excellent opportunity for us to continue to benefit from
investment in one of the most stable and fastest growing areas of the
The three office buildings comprising the Galleria Financial Center
have 99,000 square meters of space altogether. They are part of the Galleria
Mall, hotel, residential and parking complex. Tenants include Merrill Lynch,
Citigroup Inc., UBS AG, and energy companies.
Azrieli estimate rental
income for 2011 at $14 m.
The 2.4-million square foot Galleria Mall is
not part of the deal. Azrieli said that it has a commitment from a US financial
institution for a $130m. loan to finance the purchase. The company owns the
50,000-square meter Northchase Plaza and stakes in the One Riverway and Three
Riverway office buildings in Houston.