Business in Brief: January 3

Avner Oil drops as license expires; Africa-Israel redeems bonds for NIS 1.08b; Ratio shareholder sells Leviathan shares; Azrieli Group to build mall in Ramle.

Avner Oil drops as license expires
The TA-25 Index was little changed on Sunday, gaining less than 0.1 percent to 1,327.24 at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. Investors traded about NIS 1.88 billion in shares and convertible securities. The measure climbed 16% last year.
Africa-Israel Investments, Lev Leviev’s holding company, rose 4.9% after saying it would pay off NIS 1.5b. of debt after selling some of its assets.
Avner Oil Exploration-LP retreated 6.8%. The oil explorer and its partners Delek Drilling LP and Zerah Oil Gas Exploration LP said Israel had decided to let the license to drill at site 321 expire. Delek Drilling declined 7.4%, and Zerah dropped 7.3%.
Can Fite Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company, advanced 3.2% after it received royalties of $500,000 for 2011 from its Japanese partner, Seikagaku Corp.
Clal Biotechnology Industries increased 4.5% after its MediWound and Polyheal units completed a collaboration agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and received about $6 million. Teva declined 0.7%. Mayanot Eden advanced 5%. The bottled-water company said its unit, Eden Springs (Deutschland) GmbH, had completed the sale of its operations to Nestle Waters Direct Deutschland GmbH. • Bloomberg
Africa-Israel redeems bonds for NIS 1.08b.• Globes correspondent
Africa-Israel Investments Ltd., controlled by chairman Lev Leviev, on Sunday announced its board of directors approved the redemption in full of its Series 25 bond, amounting to NIS 1.08 billion. The figure includes the principle, interest and accumulated linkage. The company used the NIS 1.13b. in proceeds from the sale of its holdings in three subsidiaries for NIS 1.35b. to finance the redemption.
Over the past 30 months, Africa-Israel has reduced its solo debt from NIS 10.2b. to NIS 3.4b., of which it has already received NIS 1.13b. Africa-Israel sold its holding in Africa-Israel Residences Ltd. to sister company Danya Cebus Ltd. for NIS 648 million, its 37.5 percent stake in Road 6 franchisee Derech Eretz Highways (1997) Ltd. for NIS 502m. and half of its holding in Africa-Israel Hotels Ltd. for NIS 180m.
Ratio shareholder sells Leviathan shares • Globes correspondent
Landlan Investments Ltd., the largest shareholder in Leviathan prospect partner Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP, has sold 27 million partnership units in the company (0.4 percent) at NIS 0.5525 per unit for NIS 15 million. The sale reduced Landlan’s stake from 17.71% to 17.31%. Ratio owns 15% of Leviathan.
Last Wednesday, the Leviathan partners announced that the natural-gas reserves in the first target strata were 16 million trillion cubic feet, confirming the results of a 3-D seismic survey conducted earlier in the year.
Ratio’s share price fell 5.8% to NIS 0.507 in morning trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday, giving a market cap of NIS 3.67 billion.
Azrieli Group to build mall in Ramle • By OMER RABIN
Azrieli Group Ltd. has bought the rights to a 31,650- square-meter lot zoned for a mall in Ramle, part of the Gindi City project of Gindi Investments 1 Ltd. Azrieli committed to invest NIS 100 million in building the 31,500-sq.- m. mall, which will cost NIS 220m. to build.
Azrieli said it would close the deal in three months, when it will pay Gindi Investments the first NIS 20m. and also pay NIS 5m. in taxes.
Azrieli’s share price rose 2 percent to NIS 102 in morning trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday, giving a market cap of NIS 12.13 billion.