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OTP Gains 1st Day in 3 on ECB Lending, Municipal Bond Plan

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- OTP Bank Nyrt. rose for the first day in three as the European Central Bank’s three-year lending operation boosted appetite for riskier assets and Hungary’s largest bank unveiled a plan to help municipal borrowers.

The shares gained 1.2 percent to 3,998 forint by the end of trading in Budapest. The benchmark BUX stock index advanced 0.4 percent to 19,286.54.

The Frankfurt-based ECB said today it will lend 800 financial institutions 529.5 billion euros ($712.2 billion) for 1,092 days, a bigger allotment than economists estimated in a Bloomberg News survey. OTP offered the option of fixing the exchange rate on Swiss-franc denominated municipality bond repayments at a below-market rate for a three-year period, OTP Managing Director Pal Kovacs said at a press conference in Budapest today.

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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