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Trader’s fat finger causes Israeli stock to drop 99 percent

By Mason White 3:38 PM August 26, 2013
Israel Corp. stock plunge 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) An Israeli stock tumbled more than 99 percent on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange after a trader with an alleged fat finger caused a typo on a trade order, according to officials at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

While U.S. investors panicked because the Nasdaq Composite flatlined for three hours last week, they can take a look of what catastrophe really looks overseas in Israel.

A fat finger trade briefly pulled the entire Tel Aviv 25 index down 2 percent when a trader mistakenly entered an order for Israel Corporation Ltd. 99.9% percent below the last price. The trade triggered a series of stop-loss orders that led the index to falls sharply for about five minutes.

According to sources familiar with the situation, a certain trader mistakenly entered the symbol of Israel Corp., one of the nation’s largest holding companies, in error. The stock prices fell from 167,200 shekels to just 210 shekels before all operations during that five-minute time period were declared void. The employee was fined.

By the close of business, Israel Corp. finished down 1.1 percent on Sunday, while the TA 25 closed fractionally lower.

In contrast to the horizontal line that dominated the news in the United States, when technical problems forced the Nasdaq to stop trading for three hours last Thursday, the vertical nature of the change in price of the shares of Israel Corp. looks almost comically opposite.