Regulatory fine of OMV upheld by court

Issues

The Budapest Municipal Court has upheld a decision by Hungarian financial market regulator PSzÁF to fine Austrian oil company OMV Ft 25 million for influencing the market.

OMV already filed an appeal against the first-instance court decision with the Municipal Court of Appeals, though PSzÁF said the court has not yet set a date for a hearing. If the Court of Appeals upholds the PSzÁF decision, OMV may submit a request to the Supreme Court to examine the case.

PSzÁF fined OMV last September for making purchases of shares of Hungarian peer MOL in the period after June 15, 2007 as well as for misleading investors when it announced it was prepared to offer Ft 32,000 per share to shareholders of MOL. In its decision, PSzÁF said the announcement misled investors, even though OMV said it was not a public purchase offer.

OMV had to pay the fine within 30 days of receipt of the PSzÁF decision.

OMV raised its stake in MOL over the 10% limit on voting rights in June 2007. The measure was seen as a hostile takeover attempt by MOL's management. (MTI – Econews)

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