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Croatian supreme court rejects MOL market manipulation appeal

Deals

Croatiaʼs supreme court has rejected an appeal by Hungarian oil and gas company MOL and upheld a decision by the countryʼs financial market watchdog HANFA that MOL manipulated markets when it acquired shares in peer INA some four years earlier.

The decision was published in the official Croatian gazette. MOL said it had not yet been informed of the decision and could not study it, but told MTI that it continued to insist it did not manipulate markets.

MOL made a public purchase offer for 8% of INA shares in free float in December 2010. MOL offered HRK 2,800 per share, the same as the price of a public purchase offer it made in the autumn of 2008.

Other market players appeared to outbid MOL, pushing the share price over the offer. MOL raised its stake by just 0.1% in the offer, but continued to buy shares after the offer expired, which broke market rules because HANFA said MOL failed to declare its intention to acquire a majority stake in INA.

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