INA Share Trading to Remain Suspended For Now, Regulator Says

The Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency, or HANFA, said share trading of INA Industrija Nafte d.d. will remain suspended as “conditions for fair trading have not been met.”

The suspension, which started Dec. 3 after Mol Nyrt offered to buy outstanding shares in the Adriatic Sea nation, will continue until further notice, the agency said in a statement on its website today.

Mol shares surged Dec. 3 as much as 7.5 percent after it offered to pay 2.24 billion kuna ($401 million) or 2,800 kuna per share, for the 800,910 INA shares traded in Zagreb. INA shares, which on Dec. 3 were later suspended from trading by financial regulator, last closed at 1,721 kuna per share.

The government on Dec. 3 criticized Mol, saying it was not notified of its intentions.

The leader of Croatia’s main opposition party said the government is “passive” and “disoriented” in reacting to of INA and become a majority owner.

Zoran Milanovic, leader of the Social-Democrats, said the Hungarian oil producer has turned from a “strategic partner into a competitor,” while the government has proved “incapable of protecting its interests.”

Mol is INA’s largest shareholder, with 47.15 percent, and has operational control, while the government owns 44.84 percent. The outstanding shares are held by the company’s employees and individuals.

Milanovic said Croatia’s pension funds have “for days been sending signals that they are willing to buy outstanding shares, but the government has ignored them.”

One of the leading pension funds, Erste d.d., said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg that they are still considering Mol’s offer.

Poslovni dnevnik reported today that pension funds are considering a counter-offer for outstanding shares, as they estimate that INA shares are worth more than what Mol offered and that the stock price will continue to rise.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmina Kuzmanovic at jkuzmanovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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