July 22, 2012–Israel’s mobile phone market has grown enough to ensure sufficient competition in the industry and the government is encouraging companies to enter the fixed- line and cloud computing markets to augment revenue.
Cellcom Israel Ltd. (CEL) (CEL), Partner Communications Co. (PTNR) and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ), the country’s three largest mobile phone operators, lost more than $15 billion in market value this year as government measures boosted competition in the industry and reduced costs for customers. Cellcom fell 5.9 percent to 21.3 shekels, or the equivalent of $5.32, the lowest level on record at the close in Tel Aviv today. Partner declined 6.9 percent to 12.8 shekels, or $3.20, the lowest since February 2003.
“The number of players in the market is the number we wanted,” Eden Bar Tal, the director general at Israel’s Ministry of Communication, said in a telephone interview on July 19. “Players who want to increase revenues should do this by providing additional services and not by taking advantage of a lack of competition.”
The three stocks are the worst performers on the benchmark TA-25 Index this year as the measure lags behind the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index. (CCMP) The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index (ISRA25BN) of the most-traded Israeli companies in New York recorded the largest weekly rise this year as Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX) (MLNX) surged 35 percent.
The government required service providers cut fees by disbanding inter-network call charges and opening up the sector to new competition…Read More>>