Business in Brief: December 28

Digal finds new investor for Nof Zion; Mizrahi nears deal with PayPal; EMC plans Negev R&D center.

nof zion 311 (photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
nof zion 311
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
Digal finds new investor for Nof Zion
Digal Investment and Holdings Ltd. on Monday announced it has received an offer to buy all its holding in the Nof Zion residential project in Jerusalem and in Kilas Investment Corporation. The company did not disclose the identity of the potential investor or any details about the offer.
Digal wholly owns the Nof Zion land and owns 50 percent of Kilas, with the other half held by the brother of Digal’s controlling shareholder, Yehuda Levi. The sale of the assets is subject to the brother’s agreement to sell his holdings in Kilas and Nof Zion, so that the buyer will fully own the company and the project.
The Nof Zion project aroused controversy when Globes reported that its proposed buyer was American-Palestinian investor Bashar Al-Masri.
Mizrahi nears deal with PayPal
Mizrahi Tefahot Bank is in talks to collaborate with online payment site PayPal Inc., people familiar with the matter told Globes Monday. Bank customers who have its branded credit card (Hacartis) will receive benefits when making purchases from online sites in Israel or other countries and pay via a PayPal account. The bank will encourage its customers to use PayPal services for online transactions and will link customers’ PayPal accounts to the Hacartis cards.
The collaboration with PayPal is part of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank’s effort to brand its credit card as a benefits card, to give customers more value for the money. PayPal, a subsidiary of eBay Inc., is a service that enables users to buy goods at online stores without disclosing their credit-card details to the stores.
The credit-card number is uploaded once into Pay- Pal’s service list, which is responsible for collecting the money and transferring it to the seller. Banking surveys found that many Israelis use PayPal as a clearing service, such as for buying second-hand goods on eBay.
EMC plans Negev R&D center
The hi-tech industry in the Negev is to get a shot in the arm. Information-systems giant EMC Corporation is due to announce in a few weeks that it will open an R&D center in Beersheba, after obtaining agreement in principle on it from the Finance Ministry and the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. The new R&D center will employ 200 persons at the new hi-tech park that will be built near Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
“I have the impression that this is going in this direction and that there are already understandings on the matter with EMC,” Ben-Gurion University director-general David Bareket told Globes. “Matters will be closed within weeks. Throughout the world, it is normal for hi-tech parks to be established near prestigious universities, similar to the one that will be built here soon. EMC should be a key part of it.”