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INA share prices plunges after suspension ends

The share price of Croatian oil and gas company INA, a unit of Hungary's MOL, plunged early Monday, following a two-week suspension to give financial market watchdog HANFA time to identify foreign buyers of the shares.

Trade in INA shares was suspended again on Monday after the share price fell more than 10% to HRK 3,600.

MOL owns 47.25% of INA and the Croatian government holds 44.84%.

MOL made a public purchase offer for the 8% of INA shares in free float last December. MOL offered HRK 2,800 per share, the same as the price in a public purchase offer it made in the autumn of 2008. But other market players appeared to outbid MOL, pushing the share price over the offer. MOL raised its stake by just 0.1% in the offer.

MOL firmly rejected recent speculation in the Croatian press that it was behind the purchases of INA shares under scrutiny by HANFA. MOL has always and will continue to hold to capital market rules and international standards, including disclosure requirements related to bourse trade, it added.