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Magyar Telekom Posts Biggest Loss in 8 Months: Budapest Mover

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Magyar Telekom Nyrt. slipped the most in eight months after its chairman rejected speculation that majority-owner Deutsche Telekom AG plans to boost its ownership in the company.

Shares in the company, which is 59 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom, reversed intraday gains and fell 3.8 percent to 330 forint by the close in Budapest, the most since June 17. The German telecommunications provider “has no reason” to buy the remaining stake, Magyar Telekom’s Chairman Kerstin Gunther said in an interview from the capital city today.

Hungary’s largest mobile services company advanced 6.5 percent this month as Deutsche Telekom’s 828 million euro ($1.1 billion) purchase of its residual ownership in the Czech unit spurred bets of a similar decision at the Hungarian subsidiary. The move underpinned the German company’s plan to become the market leader in central and eastern Europe.

“This announcement is cooling the speculation,” Endre Kosa, an economist at KBC Group NV’s Budapest-based brokerage, said by phone today. Recent gains had been fueled by take-over bets, he said.

Deutsche Telekom will invest $1.37 billion in Hungary over the next four years, news website Portfolio.hu reported, citing unidentified people from the office of the nation’s premier, Viktor Orban.

To contact the reporters on this story: Marton Eder in Budapest at meder4@bloomberg.net; Edith Balazs in Budapest at ebalazs1@bloomberg.net

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

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