BUX carries on regardless

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished up 1.67% at 20,804.91 Wednesday, the highest since August 2, 2011, after rising 2.30% Tuesday. It is up 25.07% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year. Regardless of a marked slowdown followed by falls in Western markets, the Budapest parquet continued to rise mainly on MOL, albeit at a narrower margin than on Tuesday.

Good tidings multiply: after HSBC on Tuesday, Erste also raised its recommendation for MOL on Wednesday, ratcheting up its targer price to HUF 17,400 from an obsolete HUF 11,880 on expectation of a major increase in MOL profits this year and next with refining and distribution as key drivers that should more than compensate for the weak performance of exploration and production. The risks associated with sovereign country risk and MOL management are decreasing, while MOLʼs price still very attractive, Erste said in a note.

Royal Dutch Shellʼs bid for integrated British gas company BG Group on Wednesday, and Tuesdayʼs five-nation – Turkish, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and Hungarian – ministerial talks in Budapest on plans to build a "Turkish Stream" gas pipeline to bring Russian and possibly Asian gas to the region also raised interest for MOL shares.

Other shares slowed signifanctly from Tuesday as fresh data came in still robust, but mixed.

Annual headline deflation slowed on fuel and food prices, but annual core inflation stagnated and returned to zero on a monthly basis in March, while the market expects Hungaryʼs central bank to continue easing at a moderate pace only.

Annual retail trade volumes growth slowed in February.

Workday-adjusted industrial production growth slowed in February year-on-year, and fell from January.

Also in February, annual exports growth repeated the previous monthʼs pace while imports growth accelerated, with the trade surplus widening further.

OTP lagged while an initiative of the cntral bank, made following bankruptcy procedures against three local brokerages and fund managers, to increase the compensation capacity of the investors insurance pool, financed by the financial sector, augured additional contributions from banks.

OTP lost 0.21% to HUF 5,339 on turnover of HUF 4.52 bln from a HUF 16.60 bln session total, three quarters above the daily average this year.

MOL surged 4.59% to HUF 13,900 the highest close since February 11, 2014, on turnover of HUF 10 bln.

Magyar Telekom won 0.95% to HUF 423, the highest closing level since April 12, 2013, on turnover of HUF 729 mln.

Richter advanced 1.82% to HUF 4,083, the highest close since September 18, 2014, on turnover of HUF 1.23 bln.

The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.66% higher at 1,560.37.

Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.17%, while Pragueʼs PX fell 0.32%. Western Europeʼs major indices were all down ahead of their close Wednesday, FTSE-100 in London 0.34%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.66%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.32%.

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