BUX up in thin trade
The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished up 0.31% at 22,384.05 Friday after falling 0.26% Thursday. It is up 34.57% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.
Bargain hunters took over the Budapest bourse in very thin trade on Friday morning, but headwind from falling euro zone markets capped, then pared, gains and pushed OTP back in the red by close after BUX slid 1.16% in the preceding two days.
Foreign investors might have been encouraged by the Hungarian currencyʼs continued easing that followed a shot-up on Tuesday, when the central bank communicated an end to its rate-cutting cycle, and by an announcement on Friday from Hungary’s National Food Chain Safety Administration that the affected companies do not have to pay, for now, the controversial food chain supervision fee. Last week, the European Commission prohibited Hungary from applying the turnover-based, highly progressive rates of the food fee and of a tobacco tax pending its assessment whether these are in line with EU state aid rules. Brussels suspect that the levies favour small local companies to the detriment of multinationals.
Hungaryʼs economic growth likely slowed in the second quarter although the overall picture is that growth remains robust, Capital Economics said in a note on Friday. It forecasts Hungaryʼs second-quarter growth at around 3% on the year, down from a surprisingly high 3.5% in the first quarter.
Battered by fuel prices which resumed falling this week, MOL was supported by newspaper reports in Zagreb that Croatiaʼs constitutional court annulled the prison sentence of former prime minister Ivo Sanader, with order to repeat procedure in court. Mr Sanader was sentenced to ten years in prison in November, 2012, commuted to eight and a half years by Croatiaʼs supreme court in June, 2014, on several charges that included accepting bribe from MOL for a 2009 shareholders agreement giving MOL a 49.08% stake in Croatian oil and gas company INA, complete with management rights. The state of Croatia owns 44.84% of INA, and its government has tried to regain some rights in the company since 2011, partly based on the assumption that these had been fraudulently acquired by MOL, an allegation MOL has denied.
OTP lost 0.38% to HUF 5,800 on turnover of HUF 1.08 bln from a HUF 3.16 bln session total, less than a third of the daily average this year. (9,683)
MOL corrected up 0.76% to HUF 14,530 on turnover of HUF 1.14 bln.
Magyar Telekom added 0.99% to HUF 409 on turnover of HUF 202m.
Richter advanced 0.44% to HUF 4,319 on turnover of HUF 562m.
The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.72% higher at 1,691.08.
Over the week, the BUX was down 0.47% after rising 1.93% the previous week.
OTP eased 1.36% after rising 2.17% last week.
MOL fell 1.16% after winning 2.40% the previous week.
Magyar Telekom rose 2.76% after garnering 1.02% last week.
Richter dipped 0.16% after rising 1.67% over the previous week.
The BUMIX improved by 1.10% after increasing 1.20% over last week.
Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.67%, while Pragueʼs PX raked up 0.09%.
Western Europeʼs major indices were all down ahead of their close on Friday, FTSE100 in London 1.12%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 1.52%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.65%.
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