Hungary denies rumours for buyout of Surgutneftegas 21.2% stake in MOL.

By bne IntelliNews September 17, 2010
Hungary's national development ministry denied in a statement the rumours for buyout of the 21.2% stake that Russia's Surgutneftegas held in oil and gas firm MOL. The two government consider the issue to be a priority and it will be handled at the next meeting of the Hungarian-Russian intergovernmental economic cooperation committee. Surgutneftegas acquired its stake in MOL from Austrian peer OMV for EUR 1.4bn in March 2009 in a deal that was considered hostile by Hungary. The buyout rumours resulted in a surge of MOL shares to a two-year high of HUF 23,000 on strong turnover. The trade in MOL shares was also affected by the sale of equity by several high-ranking management members several days ago. Credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's has recently confirmed its BB+ rating and stable outlook on MOL's debts on a better outlook of the oil industry. Still, S&P warned that the financial risk associated with MOL remains high due to increase of debts following the repurchasing of its own shares.

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