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No progress at MOL, Croatia talks over INA

Deals

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL said yesterday that the latest round of talks with the Croatian government brought no progress regarding the future of Croatian energy group INA.

MOL owns 49.08% of INA's shares, and the state of Croatia owns 44.84%. A perceived lack of investment in the company by MOL and the state's failure to take over INA's loss-making gas business, as stipulated in a shareholders agreement, have been sources of tension between the two stakeholders.

The team of the Croatian government, led by economy minister Ivan Vrdoljak and MOL's team, led by chief executive officer Jozsef Molnar, started a fifth round of talks on INA earlier yesterday.

"Unfortunately, the minister could not convey to us the official position of the Government of Croatia regarding the Corporate Governance proposal submitted by INA’s Supervisory Board, nor could he confirm whether the deconsolidation of INA from MOL’s financial statements is a precondition for the Government of Croatia," MOL said in a statement on its website www.molincroatia.com.

"Regrettably, once again we were not able to discuss business issues and, despite previous promises by the minister, we haven’t heard any suggestions as to how the regulatory environment could be improved."

The statement added that "noting the shareholders’ full support in the strategy and the management at last month's INA General Meeting, we will continue to support the development of INA to make it an even more successful company. MOL remains open to continuing the negotiations with the Government of Croatia."

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