BUX corrects up on Greece hopes


The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished up 1.54% at 21,807.50 Friday after plunging 1.68% Thursday. It is up 31.10% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

After two days of falls, the Budapest parquet corrected up, using the ambience of a day that initially promised to be relatively "Greece-free". EU leaders have given Greece a "take it or leave it" choice late Thursday, but a euro zone finance ministersʼ follow-up meeting, deemed as crucial, is scheduled for Saturday.

   Later on, however, news on creditors making new proposals to the Greek government more in line with its left-leaning policies, and rumors on a purported "B-plan" of the EU to simply extend the present Greek bail-out programme beyond its June 30 deadline until November if everything else fails, supported euro zone indices and accelerated BUXʼs surge.

   On the local turf, fresh data on unemployment easing further in the three-month period through May after rising for two periods until end-March was encouraging, although the basis of calculation is too wide to reflect real market developments. Nationwide employment figures contain everybody who have worked more than one hour a week during the sample period, including those employed in public work schemes, or working abroad for less than one year.

   The data also showed that long-term unemployment worsened.

   Hungary could be upgraded into investment category at least by one of the three main rating agencies before the end of this year, Economy Ministry state secretary Gabor Orban told a website on Friday. His optimism was broadly corroborated by notes from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley also on Friday.

   "There are still lots of Hungary bears that gradually need to be won over by better data. One trigger is an upgrade back to investment grade, which we expect by the year end," BofAML said.

   Hungaryʼs foreign currency denominated car and personal loans could also be converted -- as forex household mortgages have already been changed -- into forint debt at a discount exchange rate, and the government will draw up relevant legislation in the autumn, the state secretary also said.


   Hungaryʼs media authority cleared way for tariff increases at Magyar Telekom and Telenor in July on Friday, but Magyar Telekom fell after it turned out that clients would have the option to reject hikes.

   OTP rose 1.86% to HUF 5,586 on turnover of HUF 2.60 bln from a HUF 8.45 bln session total, about a fifth short of the daily average this year.

   MOL went up 1.38% to HUF 14,350 on turnover of HUF 777m.

   Magyar Telekom lost 0.25% to HUF 400 on turnover of HUF 1.02 bln.

   Richter advanced 2.41% to HUF 4,200 on turnover of HUF 4.00 bln, probably boosted by purchases of own shares.

   The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.98% higher at 1,656.45.

   Over the week, the BUX was up 1.57% after falling 1.87% the previous week.

   OTP gained 5.20% after dropping 2.39% last week.

   MOL won 0.74% after losing 1.93% the previous week.

   Magyar Telekom fell 0.25% after sliding 2.91% last week.

   Richter got rid of 1.41% after dipping 2.11% over the previous week.

   The BUMIX eased 0.04% after surging 4.77% over last week.

   Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.89%, while Pragueʼs PX garnered 1.25%.

   Western Europeʼs major indices were mixed ahead of their close Friday, with FTSE100 in London down 0.54%, DAX30 in Frankfurt up 0.39%, and CAC40 in Paris up 0.74%.

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