BUX tumbles on Russia, Richter warning


The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished down 4.80% at a nine-month low of 16,169.18 on Tuesday, after falling 1.93% Monday. It is down 12.90% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013.

Pharma company Richter issued a profit warning for the current quarter on risks to its receivables in Russia. This knocked down other shares, too, with exposure to Ukraine and Russia, including OTP and MOL, resulting in a general flight from the Budapest parquet, while investors sensed some re-thinking of the government's Eastern Opening policy might be timely.

The marketplace also noticed some ratcheting-up of the simmering Hungary-US controversy concerning corruption in Hungary, started in October with a US ban of entry for six Hungarian government related persons on suspicion of corruption, including the head of Hungary's customs and tax authority.

A foreign country preparing an anti-corruption action plan for Hungary without consultations with the government is reason for concern for Hungary's sovereignty, the Hungarian foreign minister told the US charge d'affairs in Budapest on Tuesday, after US Under Secretary of State Sarah Sewall said on Monday at a forum that US embassies in two dozen countries in central and eastern Europe are currently drafting action plans for supporting anti-corruption struggle in their host countries.

OTP dove 6.97% to HUF 3,684, also an almost nine-month low, on turnover of HUF 14.96 bln from a HUF 21.82 bln session total, nearly three times the daily average this year.

MOL fell 3.52% to HUF 10,960, the lowest since end of April, 2009, on turnover of HUF 2.86 bln.

Magyar Telekom dropped 3.50% to HUF 331, the lowest since end October, on turnover of HUF 584 mln.

Richter retreated 4.73% to HUF 3,525, an almost none-month low.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 1.66% lower at 1,432.89.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was down 2.00%, while Prague's PX dipped 1.72%. Western Europe's major indices were all up ahead of their close Tuesday, FTSE-100 in London 1.66%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 1.77%, and CAC40 in Paris 1.71%.

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