BUX up after four days of falls

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.63% at 17,193.26 Tuesday, after losing 1.52% Monday. It is down 7.38% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. After four days of falls that knocked the BUX down by 2.96%, the Budapest parquet followed most European markets up. Global mood was encouraged by crude oil prices resuming their downward path on Tuesday.

Among the day's local positives were rising odds that the European Commission would not, after all, initiate a new excessive deficit procedure against Hungary because of its bulging public debt.

Hungary's budget is in a much better shape and a jump in its public debt has been the result of the government pre-financing borrowing earlier this year, Commerzbank said in a note on Tuesday. The Commission likely refrained from initiating infringement procedures since the debt overshoot will be marginal and as it expects the debt to fall next year, Commerzbank said.

Analysts also said that while Russia's giving up the South Stream gas pipeline project might cause headaches in terms of future energy imports uncertainties, it could as well be a blessing in disguise as it moves one stumbling-block in Hungarian-EU relations out of the way.

The South Stream exposed cracks in EU strategy as Hungary, Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria among others saw it as a solution to the risk of supply disruptions via Ukraine, while Brussels saw it as entrenching Moscow's energy stranglehold on Europe.

For OTP, Hungarian brokers Buda-Cash target HUF 4,400, with a "cautious accumulate" recommendation. Buda-Cash do not think OTP Bank's profits will start rising until at least 2016 now, since its Russian and Ukrainian units will end this year, and, probably, next, with losses.

Russian operations could face a HUF 60 bln goodwill write-down next year, too, they added. On the upside, acquisition of a Slovenian bank, which some investors are anticipating, may help, while uncertainty stemming from the Hungarian government's conversion of forex household loans into forint debts should begin to fade out of valuations, Buda-Cash said on Tuesday.

MOL benefited from reports it had been paid for oil from Iraqi Kurdistan.

OTP won 0.43% to HUF 3,930 on turnover of HUF 1.58 bln from a HUF 2.77 bln session total, a third of the daily average this year.

MOL gained 0.13% to HUF 11,795 on turnover of HUF 627 mln.

Magyar Telekom rose 0.90% to HUF 337 on turnover of HUF 155 mln.

Richter advanced 1.31% to HUF 3,779 on turnover of HUF 260 mln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.65% higher at 1,474.88.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was up 1.14%, while Prague's PX rose 0.06%. Western Europe's major indices were mixed ahead of their close Tuesday, FTSE-100 in London up 1.21%, DAX30 in Frankfurt down 0.27%, and CAC40 in Paris up 0.26%.

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