MNB to investigate MOL, Richter share drops

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The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) will soon be flexing its muscles as the new financial market regulator in relation to the sharp decline in share prices experienced by gas-and-oil giant MOL and pharmaceutical company Richter on the Budapest Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The MNB will be investigating whether insider influence was involved in the precipitous drops which dumped the overall BUX index 1.57% on Wednesday.

In trading on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) on Wednesday, MOL shares lost 4.39% in value to fall to HUF 14,600 on an exchange-high turnover of HUF 8.58 billion, the damage precipitated by reportage and rumors that Norway’s Oil Fund could sell its 1.6% stake in the company due to the arrest warrant issued for CEO Zsolt Hernádi in relation to the infamous bribery case involving ownership in Croatia-based MOL peer INA and the downfall of a prime minister.

Richter stock meanwhile declined 0.97% to HUF 4,090 on turnover of HUF 4.74 billion due to a report that the pharma would be returning to a listing in the MSCI Index -- but only weighted at 50% value.

Both stock prices were up slightly in yesterday’s trading, MOL regaining 0.32% in that day’s BSE-high trading of the stock and Richter was up 2.2%.

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