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Hungary's MOL, OTP want say in bourse strategy-paper

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Hungary's MOL and OTP have sent a letter to the Austrian investor group controlling the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) to seek more influence over the bourse.

The move signals an escalation of tension between Hungarian and Austrian companies, which started last year when Austrian oil group OMV proposed a takeover of Hungary's MOL which the Hungarian firm rejected.

The paper, referring to unnamed Vienna banking sources, said the two Hungarian firms representing three-quarters of the BSE's turnover, were dissatisfied with the development of the bourse and wanted to have a say in forming its long-term strategy.

The paper said the minority owners of the BSE, which include MOL and OTP, were unhappy that the Austrian group does not plan to discuss the issue of listing the BSE's shares on the Budapest bourse at its upcoming annual meeting.

The Austrian investors -- UniCredit Bank, Erste Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Oesterreischische Kontrollbank and the Vienna stock exchange - have an almost 70% stake in the BSE.

MOL officials told the daily Világgazdaság that the Austrian group had not replied to the letter which was sent early this month.

“This attitude is very similar to what OMV started against MOL, that is blocking the regional competitor,” MOL Managing Director Zoltán Áldott was quoted by the paper as saying.

MOL and OTP officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reuters)

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