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Surgutneftegas contests exclusion from MOL share registry in court

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL said Russian peer Surgutneftegas has filed a case with the Budapest court to void a resolution by MOL's board refusing Surgutneftegas's entry in the company's share registry.

The first hearing in the case has been set for December 3, 2010. Surgutneftegas acquired a 21.1% stake in MOL from Austrian peer OMV for €1.4 billion in March 2009. MOL's management called the deal unfriendly and Hungary's president expressed concern about the transaction.

Surgutneftegas could not vote at MOL's AGM in April because Hungarian financial market watchdog PSzÁF did not close an investigation of its acquisition of the MOL shares in time for the Russian company to be included in the share registry, MTI Econews reported earlier.

Surgutneftegas could not vote at the AGM a year earlier, either, because the Hungarian Energy Office had not yet acknowledged the MOL share purchase. Answering a question after the AGM in April,

MOL chairman Zsolt Hernádi said he still viewed Russian peer Surgutneftegas as a financial – not a strategic – investor in the company. (MTI – Econews)