Mol Falls to Lowest in Four Months on Tax, Greek Debt Crisis

Mol Nyrt. (MOL), Hungary’s largest refiner, dropped to a four-month low after the government said energy companies will have a 30 percent total tax rate and concern increased that Europe’s debt crisis will deepen.

The shares dropped 2.1 percent to 16,500 forint by the end of trading in Budapest, the lowest close since Jan. 6 and extending its losses in the last six days to 7.8 percent. Mol will face an 11 percent special levy dubbed a “Robin Hood” tax in addition to a 19 percent corporate tax rate from next year, Adam Balogh, an assistant state secretary at the Economy Ministry, told reporters today.

Energy stocks fell across Europe as Greece struggled to form a government willing to deliver the terms of its bailout. Mol dropped as much as 5.4 percent earlier today after Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said energy companies will face a 30 percent tax rate, without clarifying that the figure already included the Robin Hood levy. The government is introducing new taxes from this year while phasing out separate “crisis” duties on industries including energy and banks.

“Whereas the previous sector taxes and banking tax was explicitly temporary, the new taxes are planned to stay,” Zoltan Torok, a Budapest-based analyst at Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), wrote by e-mail today.

The benchmark BUX stock index, in which Mol has the biggest weighting at more than 31 percent, declined 1.7 percent. Magyar Telekom Nyrt., the Hungarian unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), fell 3.3 percent to 466 forint after the government approved a tax on telephone calls.

The ministry’s clarification of Matolcsy’s energy tax comments improved the expected impact for Mol, said Peter Csaszar, a Warsaw-based analyst at KBC Groep NV (KBC)’s broker unit.

“The whole sector is down massively, the Greek story is also having an effect here,” Csaszar said by telephone today regarding Mol’s shares.

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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