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BUX bucks positive global trend

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished down 0.34% at 17,445.12, Friday, after sinking 0.46% Thursday. It is down 6.03% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. The Budapest parquet was immunised from a global rally while local uncertainties grew around the outcome of the debtors relief process.

An amendment to a bill regulating the turning of forex loans into forint debts early next year, introduced in Hungary's parliament by the governing Fidesz party, would further squeeze interest spreads.

A positive for banks is, meanwhile, that the amendment proposes to widen the number of forex debtors who can opt out of the "forintisation".

The parliament will vote on the bill, and on another on "fair banking" next Tuesday.

A director of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said at a conference on Friday that "banks should forget households and revenue for some time. Banks have no alternative, the big ones will merge, and only five (large) banks can remain".

Slated to come out ahead of the pack in the process by analysts, market leader OTP could scrape together a small rise.

MOL, however, stalled on its rising path as Barclays kept its HUF 13,000 target price as well as its recommendation to underweight intact after summarising an analysts' briefing by MOL. The picture is generally encouraging, but the protracted animosity with Croatia over MOL's Croatian subsidiary, INA, uncertainties in Kurdistan, and the prospects of refining which are bleak on the long term, make Barclays pessimistic, it said in a note on Friday.

Top executives at Europe's telecoms firms suggested that they might at last be turning a corner after years of declining revenues at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecoms conference in Barcelona on Friday, but this did not help Magyar Telekom, exposed to a heavy tax regime in Hungary.

Richter carried on rising slowly out of the doldrums of the past weeks, as it is said to buy its own shares heavily, analysts say.

Fresh data on Friday showed that full-time employment and average wages growth accelerated a bit in September, but the pace seems to consolidate under the year-to-date average.

OTP won 0.43% to HUF 3,987 on turnover of HUF 2.88 bln from a HUF 5.31 bln session total, two-thirds of the daily average this year.

MOL sank 1.61% to HUF 12,195 on turnover of HUF 954 mln.

Magyar Telekom slid 1.16% to HUF 340 on turnover of HUF 303 mln.

Richter advanced 0.67% to HUF 3,780 on turnover of HUF 1.02 bln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.40% lower at 1,469.24.

Over the week, the BUX was up 0.36% after rising 1.51% the previous week.

OTP decreased 0.57% after improving 2.79% last week.

MOL rose 1.04% after a gain of 2.64% the previous week.

Magyar Telekom dropped 2.30% after gathering 1.46% last week.

Richter gained 1.89% after dropping 0.48% over the previous week.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was up 1.08%, while Prague's PX rose 0.92%. Western Europe's major indices were all up ahead of their close Friday, FTSE-100 in London 1.11%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 2.58%, and CAC40 in Paris 2.69%.

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