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Just one bid submitted in tender for Keler privatisation advisor

The State Privatisation and Holding Company (ÁPV) has received just one bid in
a tender for an advisor for the sale of a 53.3% stake in central clearing house and depository Keler held by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), Econews reported. The sources said just two potential bidders bought the tender documentation, adding that the conditions for bidders were stricter than usual. ÁPV will announce the results of the tender on November 9. The lack of interest could be a result of the Budapest Stock Exchange's (BSE) stated intention to exercise its pre-emption right on the package. In addition to the National Bank, Keler's registered capital of Ft 4.5 bln is held by the BSE (26.6%) and the remaining 20% is held by the Budapest Commodities Exchange (BCE), which will merge on November 2. A government resolution in June stipulated that ÁPV should sell the shares upon agreement with the central bank. Under the resolution, the majority stake in Keler will be sold to a strategic investor offering the highest price. The resolution also says the Finance Minister is to make a proposal by October 31 to separate Keler's depository activities from its clearing house activities. The separation was earlier proposed by the central bank, but Keler is not legally obligated to carry it out. Keler had net profits of Ft 2.4 bln in 2004, according to international financial reporting standards, up from Ft 984 mln in 2003. Keler had audited net assets of Ft 14.48 bln at the end of 2004.