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Mol Leads BUX Stock Index to Second Day of Gains: Budapest Mover

Mol Nyrt. and OTP Bank Nyrt. led a second day of gains in Hungarian stocks as news website Nol reported the government plans to help foreign-currency borrowers and global equities jumped.

Mol, Hungary’s biggest refiner, gained as much as 3.7 percent and closed 0.9 percent higher at 17,300 forint. OTP, the country’s biggest lender, added 0.4 percent to 4,821 forint, after an intraday jump of 1.2 percent. The benchmark BUX index, in which the two companies have a combined 65 percent weighting, climbed 0.5 percent, extending its two-day advance to 1.6 percent.

The government is considering converting overdue foreign-currency mortgages into forint, forgiving a part and letting banks deduct some of their losses from taxes, Nol said. Lenders that have already made provisions for non-performing loans would now get a tax break in return for their writedowns, Akos Kuti, Budapest-based head of research at broker Equilor Befektetesi Zrt., wrote in an e-mailed report today.

“This plan may not be bad for banks at all,” Kuti said. “The question is how much of the bad loans the banks will have to forgive.”

Hungarian commercial lenders would be open to writing off part of the overdue foreign-currency mortgage loans in exchange for a reduction in the bank levy, Daniel Gyuris, the acting head of the Hungarian Bank Association, said in a phone interview today.

Emerging-market stocks climbed to a two-week high as jobs and service industry data signaled the U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record level.

“There is still abundant liquidity on foreign markets and for once the Hungarian market is benefiting from that too,” Balint Torok, a Budapest-based analyst at Buda-Cash Brokerhaz Zrt., said by phone today.

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