ICL Gains on New Coalition Bets for Potash Sale: Tel Aviv Mover

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) advanced the most in more than a month on bets the composition of the new government would make a sale of the harvester of minerals from the Dead Sea to Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. more likely. Shares of the Israeli company that makes fertilizers and potash gained 2.3 percent, the most since Jan. 28, before adding 1.1 percent to 48 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv in 64 percent of the three-month average daily volume. Controlling stakeholder Israel Corp. advanced 1.4 percent and the benchmark TA-25 index rose 0.9 percent, the most since Feb. 20.

A major stumbling block to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s forming a ruling coalition was overcome when Yair Lapid, leader of the second-place party Yesh Atid, agreed to become the next finance minister, according to his parliament colleague Yael German, who spoke to Israel’s Army Radio today.

“Under this coalition the chances that an acquisition by Potash will be approved are higher,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel, said today by phone.

Netanyahu convened the current Cabinet for what he said was probably its final meeting in Jerusalem today, as talks to form a new ruling coalition advanced to their final stage this week. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, whose party won 12 seats, is slated to serve as Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, daily Haaretz reported today, citing unidentified party officials. There has been no official confirmation of the appointments.

The prime minister, whose Likud party emerged from January elections with the most parliamentary seats, has until March 16 to form a new government.

Potash Corp., the world’s largest fertilizer producer, is facing opposition from Israeli politicians and labor groups to its plans to gain control of Tel Aviv-based Israel Chemicals, the country’s second-largest company by market value. The Canadian company is awaiting the outcome of talks on the formation of a coalition government in Israel, Chief Financial Officer Wayne Brownlee said in a presentation to a conference in Hollywood, Florida, last month.


Reporting by Shoshanna Solomon; Editing by Alaa Shahine; Published by Bloomberg.com.

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