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BUX slows after rally

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.32% at 18,567.30, another more than five-month high, Wednesday after rising 1.66% on Tuesday. It is up 11.62% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

While record-beating Western indices stalled in profit-taking, the Budapest parquet also slowed down after a two-day rally.

A benign star-alignment of global and local circumstances still supported the market, including the Fed's re-confirmed stance of no hurry to raise rates, the preliminary eurozone agreement on extending Greece's bail-out program, the outlook for a rate cut by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) in March with its chance greatly strengthened by the Fed's stance, and upbeat expectations for MOL, Magyar Telekom and Richter.

However, reversing intraday gains, Magyar Telekom fell towards close after its board said it approved the acquisition of GTS Hungary, which provides ICT services to businesses, from the parent company of both, Deutsche Telekom, for about EUR 42m. This raised worries concerning Magyar Telekom's ability to renew paying dividend after a pause for several years.

MOL plodded ahead amid news that Gulf Keystone Petroleum was in talks about a possible sale of the company or some asset transactions in the wake of falling revenues. Gulf Keystone and its partner, Hungary's MOL earlier this month suspended all trucked exports of crude from the Shaikan oilfield in Northern Iraq until they received steady payments for exports. The Kurdish government owes the region's oil companies months' worth of oil export payments. It has just started to catch up on such outlays since Iraq's central government reinstated budget allocations to the autonomous authority late last year. Gulf Keystone's stock rose more than 60% in London.

OTP lost 0.11% to HUF 4,395 on turnover of HUF 1.27 bln from a HUF 6.01 bln session total, more than a quarter short of the daily average this year.

MOL gained 0.61% to HUF 12,275 on turnover of HUF 2.74 mln.

Magyar Telekom fell 0.26% to HUF 380 on turnover of HUF 745 mln.

Richter advanced 0.88% to HUF 4,025 on turnover of HUF 990 mln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.23% higher at 1,505.11.

Elsewhere in the region, the WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.55%, while Prague's PX rose 0.28%. Western Europe's major indices were all down ahead of their close Wednesday, FTSE-100 in London 0.39%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.11%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.26%.

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