Mol Rises Most in Three Months on North Sea Deal: Budapest Mover

Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s largest refiner, gained the most in three months as it agreed to buy gas and oil fields in the North Sea in a bid to boost production.

The shares rose 2.7 percent, the most since Sept. 11, to 14,160 forint at the close in Budapest. About 118,000 securities were traded, or 34 percent more than the three-month average. The stock is down 20 percent this year amid a dispute with the Croatian government over management rights in its INA Industrija Nafte dd unit.

Mol agreed to purchase a shareholding interest in 14 licenses of BASF SE (BAS)’s Wintershall U.K. North Sea basin offshore assets to “mitigate” a trend of decreasing daily production in its overall portfolio, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. It expects to close the $375 million deal in the first quarter of 2014.

“The news has brought a shift for Mol’s shares that have been hit hard,” Budapest-based economists at Erste Group Bank AG, including Tamas Pletser, wrote in an e-mailed note today. There will be more acquisitions from the company, they said.

Six analysts, including Erste’s Pletser, have a hold rating on Mol’s shares, six recommend buying the stock and five say sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“This may be a more stable region politically than Syria, or as Croatia may turn out to be,” Zsolt Balasy, a Budapest-based equities strategist at Bayerische Landesbank’s MKB Bank unit, wrote in an e-mailed note.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marton Eder in Budapest at meder4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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