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Keler sees Ft 1.82 bln profit

Keler Zrt, Hungary's stock-exchange clearing-house and depository, expects a Ft 1.82 billion ($8.6 million) pretax profit next year as sales rise, Napi Gazdaság reported, citing the company. Sales in 2006 will probably rise to Ft 3.4 billion, Napi said. Keler, in which the central bank has a 53.3% stake and the Budapest Stock Exchange owns 46.7%, will probably report a higher net income this year than its record Ft 2.3 billion net income for 2004, according to the newspaper. The company forecast a Ft 1.7 billion pretax profit and Ft 2.9 billion in sales for this year. The Budapest Stock Exchange, majority-owned by a group of investors including HVB Group and the Vienna stock exchange, planned to buy the central bank's stake in Keler. Hungarian lawmakers ruled on December 5 that the company must remain majority-owned by the government.