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Hungary Stocks Have Biggest Weekly Gain in 3 Months; Mol Jumps

Hungary’s benchmark stock index had its biggest weekly gain in three months as Mol Nyrt. shares soared after the country’s largest refiner made a bid for all outstanding publicly traded shares of its Croatian unit.

The 12-member BUX Index advanced 2.2 percent to 21,519.43 percent at the 4:06 p.m. close in Budapest, bringing its gain in the past five days to 3.6 percent, the most since the week ended Sept. 3.

Mol shares, which account for 29 percent of the BUX’s weighting, jumped 6.8 percent today to 19,805 forint. The company announced late yesterday an offer of 2.24 billion Croatian kuna ($401 million) for the Ina Industrija Nafte d.d. shares traded on the Zagreb bourse, most of which are held by Ina employees and individuals.

“The announcement is a positive surprise, in case Mol crosses the 50 percent threshold, that would make its controlling position unquestionable,” Gergely Varkonyi, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Budapest, wrote in a note to clients today.

Mol owns 47 percent of Ina and has operational control of the company while the Croatian government owns 45 percent. percent. The Hungarian refiner is focusing on improving profitability at INA, as part of its drive to boost earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by $201 million by 2012 from the 2009 level.

Gedeon Richter Nyrt., Hungary’s largest drugmaker, rose 0.3 percent to 43,650 forint. The company, which constitutes 20 percent of the BUX’s weighting, purchased 5,000 of its own shares at an average price of 44,644 forint each, it said in a statement posted on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange.

OTP Bank Nyrt., the country’s largest lender, rose 0.6 percent to 5,250 forint.

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