MNB: Government retaliation against MTel not manipulation

History

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) found no evidence of insider trading or market manipulation when the government pulled contracts with Magyar Telekom in retaliation for the firing of a pop star whose views on women were apparently in synch with the views of the government, state news agency MTI reported today.

“Information available to the MNB as part of its market monitoring activity as well as publicly available information did not raise any suspicion of insider trading or market manipulation that would require the launch of an oversight procedure,” central bank governor György Matolcsy said in a written response to Socialist MP Bertalan Tóth posted on the Parliamentʼs website.

Bertalan requested the investigation after government officials expressed outrage in mid-December that Magyar Telekom dropped its sponsorship of the pop singer Ákos Kovács. The telecom said it fired the singer because he said in an interview that women do not need pay parity and that the most important thing a woman can do is “belong to someone” and have children.

Kovács was echoing sentiments expressed by officials in their promotion of a family friendly agenda. Government officials said they would retaliate for the firing by cancelling some of the stateʼs smaller contracts with the Magyar Telekom.

Magyar Telekomʼs share price fell after the announcement on December 17 that the government would cancel some contracts with the company but recovered ground later in the trading session. Bertalan said he wanted to know whether anyone was intentionally profiting off of the stock fluctuation.

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