BUX down on European caution


The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished down 1.10% at 17,744.91 Wednesday, after rising 1.56% Tuesday to a four-month high. It is up 6.68 % from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

Triggered by a tripartite agreement signed on Monday by Hungary's government, Austrian financial group Erste Bank and international lender EBRD, the euphoria of the last couple of days gave way to caution on Wednesday, while uncertainties around Greece's bail-out programme and a possible failure of a four-nation summit to bring peace to Ukraine held back almost all markets in Europe.

The bleak outlook on Russia and Ukraine concerns nearly all blue chips in Budapest with business interests there. Richter was especially badly hit after it forecast on Monday a 7-8% fall in revenues this year in euro terms, including a 40% plunge in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Hungarian government hopes for a thaw in Hungary-US relations where somewhat confounded when the new US ambassador to Budapest repeated old objections at a business forum on Wednesday, saying that the US wants to boost trade with Hungary, but lack of predictability and transparency, ever-changing rules which she termed "arbitrary" and a lack of consultation can scare away investors.

The US last year denied visas to several government-related Hungarian officials over alleged corruption, a peace of contention which is still unresolved.

OTP fell 0.21% to HUF 4,282 from a near six-month high on Tuesday, on turnover of HUF 8.82 bln from a HUF 10.90 bln session total, a quarter above the daily average this year.

MOL lost 1.01% to 11,775 on turnover of HUF 595 mln.

Magyar Telekom dropped 0.53% to HUF 372 on turnover of HUF 223 mln.

Richter retreated 2.77% to HUF 3,680 on turnover of HUF 1.13 bln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.76% lower at 1,479.85.

Elsewhere in the region, the WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.68%, while Prague's PX dipped 0.29%. Western Europe's major indices were mixed ahead of their close Wednesday, FTSE-100 in London down 0.29%, DAX30 in Frankfurt up 0.09%, and CAC40 in Paris down 0.39%.


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