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Mol Gains on Croatian Production Plans: Budapest Mover

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s largest refiner, rose after the chairman of its INA Industrija Nafte d.d. unit said it wants to raise its Croatian oil and gas production to counter losses from shuttered Syrian fields.

Mol’s shares strengthened as much as 1.1 percent and traded 0.5 percent higher at 16,780 forint by 11:48 a.m. in Budapest, paring this week’s drop to 0.2 percent. Turnover amounted to 62 percent of the three-month daily average.

INA closed its facilities in Syria last year, resulting in a profit drop in 2012 and in the first quarter of this year. The Zagreb-based refiner plans an output increase “over the next couple of years” from the Croatian mainland and offshore in the Adriatic Sea, management board Chairman Zoltan Aldott said in an interview in Zagreb on June 18.

“Croatia is one of Mol’s core countries and Croatian barrels are one of the most profitable ones in Mol’s upstream portfolio,” Peter Szentirmai, a Budapest-based analyst at KBC Groep NV’s broker unit, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “It would be desirable to increase production of high-margin Croatian barrels.”

Aldott’s comments are “good news” for Mol, Budapest-based Equilor Befektetesi Zrt. wrote in a research report today. Mol has lost 5.5 percent so far this year, compared with a 3.4 percent increase by the benchmark BUX stock index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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