The Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) announced on Wednesday it would suspend trading in shares of Land Credit and Mortgage Bank Rt (FHB) if they fell further than 30% compared to Monday's closing price.
It limited movement in the price of FHB share futures to Ft 480 from Monday's close. The BÉT said it was likely that the shares price would deviate more than the daily 15% allowed for A-category shares under bourse rules. Therefore, to ensure uninterrupted trading, the BÉT increased the limit.
The BÉT suspended trading in the shares on Tuesday following a government announcement on Monday of the introduction of a 20% tax on state subsidies for home mortgages. FHB is one of Hungary's biggest mortgage lenders.
The government's revenue-raising proposal could raise FHB's tax bill Ft 5 billion to Ft 6 billion, representing more than half of estimated profit, analyst Mark MacRae of KBC Groep NV said. The proposed tax is especially unusual considering that the government owns a 53% stake in FHB, he added. “Whatever they're going to gain in taxes, they're going to lose in terms of the value of their stake in FHB,” MacRae said. “If the government is watching what is happening, maybe it will withdraw” its tax proposal.
FHB shares plummeted 9.37% to 1,151 by Monday's close on bigger-than-usual turnover of Ft 1.534 billion.