BUX climbs faster


The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 2.16% at 18.283.40, a six-day high, Friday after rising 0.41% Thursday. It is up 9.92% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

The Budapest parquet ended the week on a positive note as analysts agree that the ECB's QE which is to start next Monday will raise demand for assets in emerging Europe, too, especially for higher yielding shares while it is expected to drive fixed income yields further down.

Meanwhile, fresh local data were mixed. Annual industrial production growth in Hungary accelerated fast in January workday-adjusted while it slowed equally sharply, and more than expected, in unadjusted terms.

Hungary's industrial output could rise by 7% this year, slowing from 7.6% last year, Takarekbank said after publication of the data.

A second reading of last year's GDP growth came in slightly higher from the first reading while growth in Q4 was confirmed unchanged compared to the first reading.

Hungary's GDP growth may reach 2.8% after last year's upwardly revised 3.6% final figure, ING Bank said in a note. The official expectation for this year's GDP growth is 2.5%, but the prime minister expected more in a morning speech at a business forum, repeating a pledge to cut the bank levy for banks that are willing to undertake a commitment to boost lending and thus support growth. Lending continued to shrink in 4Q outside of the central bank's Lending for Growth Scheme, which the prime minister termed a "not endless" source of cheap money for SMEs.

The Q4 drop in Hungarian investment, from the strong levels seen previously, is a concern, said Erste Bank in a note.

Winner of the day was OTP after it posted a profit in Q4 instead of a loss expected by market consensus, and after it said that despite a loss over the whole year it intended to pay a slightly higher dividend than last year. OTP's Q4 success despite Russian an Ukrainian woes helped Richter and MOL, equally exposed to these markets, while the continuing appreciation of the Russian rouble also gave a boost.

OTP soared 4.33% to HUF 4,360 on turnover of HUF 5.35 bln from a HUF 7.13 bln session total, 15% short of the daily average this year.

MOL gained 1.52% to HUF 12,000 on turnover of HUF 707 mln.

Magyar Telekom lost 0.51% to HUF 394 on turnover of HUF 269 mln.

Richter advanced 1.86% to HUF 3,840 on turnover of HUF 746 mln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.63% higher at 1,515.93.

Over the week, the BUX added 40% after a plus of 1.10% in the previous week.

OTP gathered 1.75% after finishing last week flat.

MOL increased 0.08% after rising 2.26% the previous week.

Magyar Telekom garnered % after climbing 2.41% last week.

Richter fell 2.29% after improving 0.77% over the previous week.

The BUMIX rose 0.77% after losing 0.90% last week.

Elsewhere in the region, the WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.42%, while Prague's PX increased 0.77%. Western Europe's major indices were mixed ahead of their close Friday, FTSE-100 in London down 0.65%, DAX30 in Frankfurt up 0.42%, and CAC40 in Paris down 0.04%.

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