OTP Advances Most in Month on Banking Tax Report: Budapest Mover

OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, climbed the most in almost a month as Magyar Hirlap reported the government may consider cutting banking taxes.

The shares rose 3.1 percent, the most since Feb. 8, to 4,803 forint by the close in Budapest. The benchmark BUX stock index strengthened 1.2 percent.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Cabinet, which has imposed extra taxes on financial, energy and telecommunication companies since taking power in 2010, may consider cutting levies on banks once the economy emerges from recession, the newspaper reported, citing an interview with Mihaly Varga, who Orban nominated on March 1 to become economy minister.

Varga’s comments “could have some positive impact on the sentiment,” Marta Czajkowska-Baldyga, a Warsaw-based analyst at KBC Groep NV, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “We expect consensus to be cautious to incorporating any changes to the banking tax assumptions.”

Orban first introduced special industry taxes as temporary crisis measures, before making the banking levy permanent and imposed an additional charge on financial transactions last year in an effort to cut the budget deficit.

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