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Limit on foreign ownership in INA would go against EU principle - paper

Any attempt by the government of Croatia to limit ownership in oil and gas company INA would go against European Union rules prohibiting market discrimination, Hungarian ambassador to Croatia Gábor Iván said on the website of daily Vecernji List on Monday.

Iván was commenting on reports the Croatian government wants to limit foreign ownership in INA to 49%.

"A law that would limit the ownership in INA goes against a fundamental principle of the EU's internal market, namely the free movement of capital," Iván said.

MOL holds a 47.46% stake in INA and the Croatian government owns 44.84%. A recent purchase offer to INA shareholders by MOL failed to give it a majority stake in the unit.

Iván noted that Hungary had been forced to withdraw legislation limiting foreign ownership in MOL four years ago.

The legislation was drawn up as the company faced a hostile takeover by Austria's OMV.