Hungary wants Russia's Surgutneftegaz to divest of MOL stake

14 June 2010 17:45  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Hungary's government is to start talks with Russia's Surgutneftegaz in an attempt to persuade the Russian company to give up its 21.2% stake in Hungarian oil, gas and petrochemical group MOL, the Hungarian Ministry for National Development and the Economy said on Monday.

The new Hungarian government was of the opinion that the stake would be "better off in Hungarian hands" rather than in those of an investor that both ministers and MOL saw as unwelcome, the ministry said.

However, the ministry declined to say whether the government believed it should be the state or another Hungarian entity that should acquire the stake.

MOL has refused to consider any cooperation with Surgutneftegaz since in 2009 it acquired the shareholding from Austria's OMV without giving any advance notification to MOL or the Hungarian government.

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By: Will Conroy
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