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Shell to close 15 petrol stations in Hungary

Oil and gas company Shell will close 15 of its petrol stations in Hungary this year, after shutting 17 in 2012, because of the narrowing market and unfavorable regulatory environment, business daily Világgazdaság said last week. There were 230 Shell stations at the start of 2013. Shell's retail fuel business in Hungary, which is market runner-up, made losses in the last three years, the paper said. It has laid off more than 1,000 people since 2008, and plans to cut opening hours at most of its petrol stations. Shell Hungary chairman Balázs Erenyi told the paper that the crisis tax, the modified local business tax and the state monopoly on tobacco sales were among the regulatory issues that burdened the company. Market leader MOL had 360 petrol stations in Hungary at the end of last year. Italy's Agip had 190 and Austria's OMV had 170.