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MOL CEO says company may forego dividend this year – wire

  CEO of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL Zsolt Hernádi told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that MOL would follow a conservative dividend policy this year and might not pay shareholders anything from 2008 profits.

Because of the global financial crisis and MOL’s purchase of an additional 22% stake in Croatian peer INA, the company’s board will follow a very conservative dividend policy, Hernádi told Reuters.

When asked if this could mean that MOL’s board will recommend paying no dividend at all on 2008, Hernádi said “I can’t exclude this possibility”.

Hernadi said he believed that acquisition-driven consolidation of the oil sector in the region was over, and MOL will now seek to develop existing assets and expand through partnerships into non-traditional energy sector investments, Reuters cited him as saying.

“I think that consolidation based on acquisitions in central Europe, the way some of our rivals see consolidation, is over," Hernádi said. “I think that future consolidation will be driven by partnerships and cooperation between firms that compliment each other and not overlap.” (MTI-Eco)