Mol Snaps 5-Day Drop as Iraq Oil Plan Approved: Budapest Mover

Mol Nyrt. advanced for the first time in six days after Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd., the company’s oil exploration partner, got approval for a field development plan in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Hungary’s largest refiner rose 0.8 percent, the most since June 10, to 16,230 forint by the close in Budapest. The stock dropped 5.3 percent in the previous five sessions. Almost 95,000 shares were traded today, about 1.3 times the three-month daily average. The benchmark BUX stock index, in which Mol has a 31 percent weighting, climbed 1.4 percent.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd.’s development plan for the Shaikan field was approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in Kurdistan, the oil and gas explorer said today. The initial production capacity at the field, in which Mol has a 20 percent working interest, will start in the “coming weeks,” increasing to 250,000 barrels of oil per day by 2018, Gulf Keystone said.

“We expect MOL’s share price to head north, reflecting the positive developments, as MOL has come closer to monetizing its assets in Kurdistan,” Helena Naffa, a Budapest-based analyst at UniCredit SpA, who has a buy recommendation on the stock, said in a research report today.

Gulf Keystone shares gained 1.9 percent in London trading today. Mol has declined 2.8 percent this quarter, lagging a 4 increase for the BUX index.

“We continue to see activities in Kurdistan as the most interesting driver of Mol’s investment case,” Peter Szentirmai, a Budapest-based analyst at KBC Groep NV, wrote in an e-mailed note today.