Citi investment bank will enable US investors to trade in the American Depositary Shares (ADS) of Israeli real estate company Azrieli Group Ltd. (TASE: AZRG), according to a report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The report states that Citi will list 50 million ADS (securities that track a share listed on a non-US exchange, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in this case). One ADS represents a right to one third of an Azrieli share. Azrieli's current share price on the TASE is NIS 269, reflecting a NIS 32.7 billion market cap. The share has climbed 54% since the beginning of the year with the help of the positive trend in income-reducing real estate shares on the TASE, pushing its market cap up to NIS 33 billion.
Four years ago, another bank, Bank of New York Mellon, enabled investors to buy securities tracking the Azrieli share. It is believed that interest among foreign investors is on the rise because of its handsome returns and potential. Trading in ADS will enable them to invest in Azrieli more conveniently. An estimated 6% of Azrieli's shares are currently held by foreign investors, among them large investment concerns.
Azrieli is Israel's largest real estate company. In a recently published presentation, Azrieli stated that it owned income-producing properties totaling of 1.2 million square meters, as well as 11 projects under construction and planning and six expansion and upgrading projects. Azrieli added that its average occupancy rate in Israel was 98%. The company has 17 shopping malls, 14 office developments, three sheltered housing projects, and eight office buildings overseas.
Azrieli's revenue grew 27% to NIS 1.8 billion in the first half of 2019, and its net profit jumped 42% to NIS 701 million. Azrieli is the fifth largest company on the TASE after IFF, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and NICE System, and is very close in market cap to Bank Hapoalim and Nice Systems.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 21, 2019
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