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Hungary awards grants to Orco, Genex, RFV for stock listing

Hungary's government awarded grants to Orco Property Group SA, RFV Zrt and Genex Zrt to help them list on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT), as part of a drive to curb a decline in the number companies on the bourse.

Luxembourg-registered real estate developer Orco Property Group SA, air conditioning manufacturer Genex Zrt and energy services company RFV Zrt will receive a combined Ft 76 million (€295,844), the Economy Ministry said in an e-mail on Friday.

The companies must list by June 1 and remain traded for two years. Budapest lost more listings than it gained last year, and Hungary's central bank predicted a 20-25% drop in turnover this year as a result of government measures designed to reduce the budget deficit. The Warsaw Stock Exchange has said it expects about 60 debuts this year after 38 in 2006. BÉT CEO Árpád Pál on January 16 said he plans to rely on foreign companies such as Orco to increase the number of listings this year.

Canadian energy company Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd. is among the candidates, as well as Hungarian state lottery organizer Szerencsejáték Rt. Six companies left the bourse last year, with just three joining. The 2006 newcomers were online bookshop Bookline.hu Nyrt, telecommunications company TvNetWork Nyrt and property developer Graphisoft Park SE. The government last year distributed Ft 87.9 million in listing subsidies. (Bloomberg)