UPDATE 4-Potash Corp drops bid for Israel Chemicals; profit up

Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:00pm EDT
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* Says Israel should be more receptive to foreign investment

* Q1 profit 63 cents/share vs Street forecast 59 cents

* Q1 sales volumes rise 78 pct as China, India resume buying

* Keeps FY2013 guidance; Q2 forecast lower than expected

By Rod Nickel

April 25 (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan , one of the world's largest potash producers, said on Thursday it was abandoning efforts to take over Israel Chemicals Ltd because of strong opposition in Israel.

Potash Corp, which currently holds a 14 percent stake in ICL, revealed its decision the same day it reported a stronger-than-expected 13 percent rise in profit after renewed sales to China and India.

Shares of ICL and its controlling shareholder Israel Corp Ltd ended down 4.5 percent and 3.8 percent respectively in Tel Aviv. Potash Corp shares rose about 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent in New York and Toronto by midafternoon.

But while the company said there needs to be a welcoming reception for foreign investment in Israel to make a deal, Chief Executive Bill Doyle dismissed thoughts that it might now sell its ICL stake.   Continued...