Watchdog fines Bloomberg for erroneous report

Analysis

Hungarian financial regulator PSzÁF on Thursday said it fined business news service Bloomberg HUF 10 million for an error that affected exchange rates shortly before a central bank rate decision. PSzÁF said the report constituted undue market influence. Bloomberg published a report minutes before the announcement of a rate decision by the National Bank of Hungary on April 23 that the central bank's Monetary Council had cut the base rate by 400bp to 1%. The report was corrected in about 40 seconds, in line with Bloomberg's internal rules. Although it acknowledged the news item was published because of a technical error, PSzÁF cited Bloomberg for failing to use a control mechanism that may have prevented the mistake. The forint weakened sharply from under 300 to the euro to around 302.9 after Bloomberg published the report. It recovered to firm to around 298.8 after the Monetary Council said it decided to cut the central bank's key rate by 25bp to 4.75%. Bloomberg said earlier that it took immediate steps to correct the error as well as to prevent any repeat of such a mistake.

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