Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s largest refiner, rose the most in three weeks after a European Union court overturned a decision ordering the company to repay state aid of about 30.4 billion forint ($136 million).
The shares climbed 1.2 percent to 14,445 forint by close in Budapest, the biggest gain since Oct. 21, and rebounding from a two-year low. The company has lost 19 percent of its market value this year amid a dispute with the Croatian government over management rights in its INA Industrija Nafte d.d. unit.
Mol didn’t gain unfairly from a 2005 agreement with the Hungarian government that fixed most of its mining royalty payments for 15 years, the EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled today. The European Commission, the EU arm that polices state subsidies in the 28-nation bloc, concluded in June 2010 Mol “benefited of a financial advantage,” after the government raised mining fees in 2008, though the company’s payment obligations remained unchanged.
“It’s a fairly large sum and an important positive development amid the ongoing saga with INA,” Csaba Sinka, a Budapest-based equities analyst at KBC Securities, the local unit of KBC Groep NV, said by phone. The shares could extend gains on the ruling as the market is pricing in the possibility of an appeal by the European Commission, he said.