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Budapest Bourse Seeks State Listings Hungary Isn’t Planning

The Budapest Stock Exchange wants to attract state-owned companies to help reverse a decline in trading volumes, Chief Executive Officer Zsolt Katona said. The government said it doesn’t see any listings coming.

The exchange probably won’t attract entrants of the size of the two biggest listed companies, Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s largest refiner, and OTP Bank Nyrt., its biggest lender, said Katona, who was appointed last month. Katona would be “very happy” if the government listed 10 percent of electricity wholesaler MVM Zrt. He also cited Mol, in which the government last year bought a 21 percent stake from OAO Surgutneftegas, without delisting it from the bourse.

“Besides smaller- and medium-size enterprises, it is our aim to bring state companies to the bourse,” Katona told a conference in Budapest today.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has bought stakes in companies deemed strategic in contrast to other European countries from Greece to Poland which sold holdings to plug budget holes. Hungary has no plans to list any companies, Adam Balog, deputy state secretary at the Economy Ministry, told the same conference, which was organized by the bourse.

“To be frank I don’t see much chance for that,” Balog said.

Hungary’s benchmark BUX stock index rose 0.6 percent to 17,684.95 by 4:07 p.m. in Budapest, extending its advance this year to 4.2 percent, following a 20 percent plunge in 2011. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has gained 2.1 percent so far in 2012.

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