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Budapest Stock Exchange chairman resigns

Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) chairman Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy told MTI on Monday he has resigned from his post with immediate effect because of changes to the bourse’s ownership structure.

Szalay-Berzeviczy said the Budapest Stock Exchange would require a chairman capable of meeting the expectations of its Austrian majority owners. The Vienna Bourse announced last Thursday it would purchase a 12.5% stake in the BSE from UniCredit Bank Hungary to make it the stock exchange’s biggest owner with a 37.7% stake. Szalay-Berzeviczy is the managing director of UniCredit Bank Hungary.

Business daily Napi Gazdaság wrote on Friday that the Vienna Bourse has also made offers to buy stakes in the BSE from the other members of a consortium of financial companies that bought a combined 68.8% stake in the BSE in 2004. Raiffeisen has already accepted an offer from the Vienna Bourse for its 6.4% stake in the BSE, and if the other consortium members follow suit -- as they are likely to -- the Vienna Bourse’s stake in the BSE will rise to 68.8%, Napi wrote.

Szalay-Berzeviczy, who was elected BSE chairman in June 2004, said the inclusion on the government’s agenda of the privatization of more companies through listings, the successful integration of the BSE with the Budapest Commodities Exchange, the creation of individual retirement accounts and the establishment of state grants to defray the cost of listings were among the bourse’s accomplishments during his tenure. Changes to regulations during the period have resulted in a big rise in pension funds’ share holdings, he added. (MTI-Econews)