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OTP Bank Extends First Weekly Gain This Month as BUX Rallies

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, capped its first weekly advance this month as Hungary’s retail sales beat estimates and speculation the global economy is strengthening boosted demand for emerging-market assets.

The shares strengthened 3.3 percent to 4,040 forint by the close in Budapest for a weekly gain of 2.4 percent. The benchmark BUX stock index jumped 1.6 percent to 19,372.48. Foldhitel es Jelzalogbank Nyrt., a Hungarian mortgage lender, soared 6.9 percent to 543 forint.

Hungarian retail sales rose 1.5 percent in December from a year earlier, exceeding economists’ expectations for 1 percent growth. Purchases of new homes in the U.S. outstripped forecasts in January after climbing a month earlier to a one-year high. Better-than-estimated consumer confidence data also bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.

“The retail sales growth implies that fourth-quarter consumption figures might turn out to have been in positive territory,” Janos Samu, a Budapest-based economist at Concorde Ertekpapir Zrt., wrote in a research report today on the Hungarian data.

The forint depreciated 0.2 percent to 290.01 per euro.

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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