January 18, 2009 / 12:49 PM / 12 years ago

RESEARCH ALERT-Clal raises Delek Group to "outperform"

TEL AVIV, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Brokerage Clal Finance on Sunday raised its rating for Israeli conglomerate Delek Group DELKG.TA to “outperform” from “market perform” due to a large natural gas find off of Israel’s coast.

Delek’s subsidiaries Delek Drilling (DEDRp.TA) and Avner Oil Exploration AVNRp.TA are members of the consortium that made the discovery.

The natural gas is estimated at nearly 90 billion cubic meters, which is worth about $26 billion, Clal analyst Yuval Ben Zeev said. It is expected to be sold over 15 years starting in 2013.

Productions tests at the site will be carried out over the next three weeks.

Delek Group’s shares were up 50 percent at 270 shekels in afternoon trading in Tel Aviv.

($1 = 3.885 shekels)

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Richard Hubbard

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