OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, declined the most in a month on speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve may curtail stimulus measures that lifted demand for riskier assets.
The shares dropped 2.9 percent to close at 4,660 forint in Budapest. The benchmark BUX stock index, in which OTP has a 33 percent weighting, slid 1.8 percent to 18,749.84.
The Fed bond buying helped the BUX rally 7.1 percent last year, its best performance in three years, boosted by a 29 percent jump in OTP. Several Fed policy makers said the central bank should be ready to vary the pace of its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases, according to minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 29-30 meeting released yesterday.
“Stocks took a sharp turn lower as markets had priced in that the Fed’s loose policy wold prevail at least until year-end,” Zsolt Kondrat and Zsolt Balasy, Budapest-based analysts at Bayerische Landesbank’s MKB unit, wrote in a research report.