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Budapest Stock Exchange sees higher revenue on record trading

The Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) said revenue probably rose about 20% in 2006 after a fifth consecutive year of record trading.

Revenue is expected around ft 3.2 billion ($16.7 million) with profit at last year's level of Ft 2.4 billion, the bourse's CEO Árpád Pál said at a briefing today. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will add more than 20% to Ft 1.5 billion. The exchange, controlled by HVB Group, benefited as turnover averaged a record Ft 540 billion a month and was boosted by a government decision to tax capital gains as of September 1, prompting many to invest to evade the payment. The Budapest bourse had three listings this year, while six companies left the bourse. „We hope to change that ratio next year and have more listings than withdrawals,” CEO Pál said.

Three companies applied for listing subsidies from the Economy Ministry for next year, Chairman Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy added. Orco Property Group SA, a real estate company that operates in central and eastern Europe, is expected to list in Budapest early next year, Szalay-Berzeviczy said. Net at the exchange is expected to fall in 2007 after it was exempted the past few years from paying a 16% company tax, Pál said. The benchmark BUX Index reached a record high of 25,415.64 points on May 5 and has risen 17.7% this year after a 41 percent-rally in 2005. It has doubled since Hungary entered the European Union in May 2004. HVB Group owns 25.2% of the company, the Vienna Stock Exchange 14% and Erste Bank der oesterreichische Sparkassen AG 12.2%. Oesterreichische Kontrollbank has an 11% stake and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG owns 6.4%. (Bloomberg)