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Last state-owned MOL stake to be put on block this year

The privatization of the remaining 11.8% stake in Hungarian oil company MOL Rt is scheduled for this year by the State Privatization and Holding Rt (ÁPV). Whether the sale will take place in H1 or H2 has not yet been decided, Communications Director Péter Oravecz said, adding that ÁPV also needs to reach a decision regarding the preferred method of the sale. In the case of publicly traded MOL, there are four optional ways to sell the state-owned shares, he explained. These include floating the stake on the stock market, selling it to a single strategic investor, inviting bids in a public tender or issuing convertible bonds that would be replaced by stocks later, a solution that proved highly successful last year in the privatization of Richter Rt. As to how much the stake is worth, Oravecz explained that while the obvious way of assessing the value of the stake is to take stock quotes as a basis, a strategic investor might be willing to pay several times more than the share price at the time of the privatization if there is strong competition. Consequently, stock market prices and the sale price may differ considerably, he said.