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Central European stocks such as OMV gain on oil; OTP declines

Central European stocks such as OMV AG, the region's biggest energy company, advanced as crude traded near a record high. OTP Bank Nyrt, eastern Europe's largest lender, paced declining shares. The NTX Index of 30 companies in central and eastern Europe added 0.2% to 1491.54 at 12:18 p.m. in Vienna, as 14 stocks rose, seven slipped and nine were unchanged. Austria's ATX Index climbed 0.7% and Poland's WIG20 gained 0.5%. Hungary's BUX Index slid 1.1%. OMV, based in Vienna, increased 1.5% to €47.68. Crude oil futures touched a record $75.40 a barrel in New York yesterday on concern that geopolitical tensions will disrupt oil supplies after North Korea launched at least seven missiles. Higher gasoline demand in the U.S. during driving season also sent the price of oil higher. OTP, Hungary's biggest bank, retreated 3.1% to 6,171 forint. Erste Bank AG rose 1% to €45.20. Austria's second-biggest lender and Wiener Staedtische Versicherung AG, the nation's largest insurer, may make a joint bid for Bawag PSK Bank, Die Presse reported, without citing anyone. Wiener Staedtische shares added 0.8% to €46.19. Erste Bank is "not really interested in buying Bawag, though it may look at the bank if there is a due diligence," Karin Berger, a spokeswoman for the company, said in a telephone interview. She said Erste would only bid jointly with Wiener Staedtische. (Bloomberg)