OTP Bank Falls Most in Two Months on Aid Delay: Budapest Mover

OTP Bank Nyrt. (OTP), Hungary’s largest lender, fell the most in two months as the government’s disputes with the European Union threatened to delay rescue funding for the bloc’s most-indebted eastern country.

The shares declined 3.9 percent to 3,787 forint by the close in Budapest, the biggest one-day retreat since Jan. 4. The 11-member BUX stock index, where OTP has a 28 percent weighting, dropped 2.1 percent to the lowest in almost seven weeks.

Disputes with the EU’s executive arm over the independence of the central bank, the judiciary and the data-protection authority have prevented talks on a bailout, which the country requested in November. Hungary will take a “determined” stand against the European Commission and some matters will end up in court, Janos Lazar, who heads the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group, told M1 television today.

“Hungarian assets will remain underperformers across emerging markets and central Europe,” Akos Kuti, head of research at Budapest-based broker Equilor Befektetesi Zrt., and colleagues wrote in an e-mailed report today, citing the “substantial” slowing down of Hungary’s move toward a bailout deal.

European stocks fell as a report confirmed a contraction in the euro-area economy, Hungary’s biggest trade partner, and as investors weighed Greece’s chances of avoiding a default.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andras Gergely in Budapest at agergely@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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