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OTP Leads Rally on Foreign-Currency Debt Plans: Budapest Mover

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, gained for the first time in three days after Economy Minister Mihaly Varga ruled out introducing measures to help foreign-currency debtors without consulting banks.

The shares advanced 2.8 percent to 4,574 forint by 10:28 a.m. in Budapest. The benchmark BUX stock index rose 1.8 percent, also climbing for the first day in three.

Demand for riskier assets increased after Cyprus agreed to the outlines of an aid package, paving the way for 10 billion euros ($13 billion) of emergency loans. Hungary’s government only wants to use existing tools to help people indebted in Swiss francs or euros for now, with new methods to be introduced only after a compromise with lenders, news website portfolio.hu reported, citing an interview with Varga.

“The news is slightly positive for banks as these tools don’t hurt banks’ profitability,” Erste Group Bank AG analysts including Jozsef Miro in Budapest wrote in a research report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andras Gergely in Budapest at agergely@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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