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OTP lifts BUX to moderate gain

A robust gain of over 2% from OTP Bank outweighed moderate losses from fellow BSE Big Four issuers Richter, Mol and Magyar Telekom, propelling the Budapest Stock Exchange's (BÉT) blue-chip BUX index to a moderate Monday advance of 87.71 points to 22,942.84.

The BUX closed up 0.38% on a light composite exchange turnover of Ft 12.11 billion (€47.65 million), fluctuating in a narrow, 187.27-point, range between an intra-session high of 23,027.32 a minute or two after the BÉT's 9:00 a.m. morning bell and an intra-session low of 22,840.05 at about 9:15 a.m. The mid-cap BUMIX index also closed higher on Monday, gaining 15.07 points, or 0.63%, to 2,388.

The BÉT Big Four, which account for 90.27% of the BUX index's point value, stood as follows at Monday's closing bell: OTP Bank gained 2.20% to Ft 7,650 on an exchange-high turnover of Ft 3.63 billion. Drug company Gedeon Richter Nyrt declined 0.70% to Ft 39,600 on a turnover of Ft 2.55 billion. Oil and natural gas company Mol lost 0.69% to Ft 21,650 on a turnover of Ft 3.61 billion. Magyar Telekom declined 0.43% to Ft 923 on a turnover of Ft 1.39 billion.

The BSE Big Four generated 92.32% of the exchange's composite Monday turnover. Of 11 BUX-listed issuers, six gained on Monday, while four lost and one ended at the break-even mark. Notable gainers at the BSE on Monday were the North Hungarian Electricity Supply Company (Émász), which rose 1.17% to an all-time closing high of Ft 19,4125, alcoholic beverages company Zwack Unicum, which jumped 5.00% and architectural-software company Graphisoft, which advanced 3.26%.

István Zillich of Takarékbank characterized the BÉT's Monday session as boring, with little news to influence the course of trade at the at the exchange. Zillich attributed Mol's decline to a drop in the price of Nymex oil back below $63 a barrel, while ascribing Richter's loss to the weak dollar. Other major central and eastern European blue-chip stock indices closed higher on Monday, with Prague's PX-50 gaining 0.23% and Warsaw's WIG-20 advancing 2.83%. (Mti-Eco)