BUX walks the European line


The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.11% at 17,456.56 Thursday, after rising 0.31% Wednesday. It is down 5.97% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. The Budapest parquet fell in line with Western markets Thursday: up in the morning, hovering just under Wednesday's close for most of the afternoon to close with an unconvincing gain.

A forecast of the managing director of Hungary's central bank who said that five big banks were likely to remain in Hungary after a consolidation in the sector put a floor under market leader OTP, in spite of newspaper reports on a plan to tax investment funds based on the amount of assets under management at each end of calendar quarters from next year.

Fairly bleak prospects, however, weigh on the market.

Analysts say the flood of EU funds due to an overlap of the end of the 2007-13 budget period and the start of the 2014-20 period is likely to abate next year while few indigenous sources of growth are visible. The central bank has practically exhausted its easing toolkit. Fiscal stimulus is impossible given the risk of the excessive deficit procedure, with rather new or elevated taxes to encroach on consumption next year, all pointing to a slowdown of GDP growth.

MOL was up after it announced that it had been offered four licences on the UK Continental Shelf in a licencing round.

A slight correction in its sloping path, Richter was also bargain-bought after it fell on Wednesday as a Norwegian fund lowered its holding in Richter under 5%.

OTP won 0.05% to HUF 4,082 on turnover of HUF 1.31 bln from a HUF 3.68 bln session total, less than half the daily average this year.

MOL rose 0.97% to HUF 11,995 on turnover of HUF 635 mln.

Magyar Telekom fell 1.43% to HUF 345 on turnover of HUF 119 mln.

Richter advanced 0.40% to HUF 3,725 on turnover of HUF 1.16 bln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 1.44% lower at 1,449.67.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was down 0.32%, while Prague's PX lost 0.64%.

Western Europe's major indices were all up ahead of their close Thursday, FTSE-100 in London 0.30%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.29%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.12%.


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