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Bajnai: Gov’t could do nothing to prevent MOL sale

  The government was in no position to prevent the fast and unexpected sale of a 21.2% stake in Hungarian oil and gas company MOL by Austrian peer OMV to Russia’s Surgutneftegas at the end of March, Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said on Wednesday.

Bajnai called the transaction “strange, extraordinary” and said the government saw the move as unfriendly. He noted that the sale was being investigated by Hungarian financial market regulator PSzÁF.

Surgutneftegas has still not revealed its intentions, what influence it seeks or what effect it would have on the company’s operations if it achieves that influence, Bajnai said.

Bajnai complained about a comment by an opposition MP after a meeting of Parliament’s National Security Committee on Tuesday that the government was informed of the transaction several days before the sale. The comment on information from a closed meeting was inappropriate, he said.

The government had no official knowledge of the transaction before it took place, Bajnai said. At most, there was feeling that something was in the marking, he added. Bajnai said Austria’s chancellor told him at a meeting in Vienna on Tuesday that he had had no knowledge of the sale before the transaction took place. (MTI-Econews)