June 11 (Reuters) – Hungary’s government is in talks with Surgutneftegaz (SNGS.MM) on buying back a 21 percent stake in oil group MOL (MOLB.BU) and may finance the purchase by issuing government bonds, daily Napi Gazdasag said on Friday.
The business daily, citing an unnamed source, said that Hungary’s previous Socialist government had been close to an agreement with Surgut and the Russian firm then wanted to get 1.5 billion euros for its MOL stake.
In May daily Nepszabadsag said the new Hungarian government was planning to buy back the MOL stake held by Surgut.
Napi Gazdasag said on Friday that according to its “unconfirmed information” the new Hungarian government was in talks with Surgut about a similar price, 1.6 billion euros ($1.93 billion), and may want to finance the deal by issuing additional government bonds.
MOL declined comment.
Peter Szijjarto, spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said he could not comment because he did not have information.
The Russian energy giant bought one-fifth of Hungary’s largest company by revenue last year from Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) in a deal which irked both MOL and the Socialist government.
Orban, whose centre-right Fidesz party won elections by a landslide in April, has pledged to address what he called an “unfortunate situation”. [ID:nBUS002127]
His government took office on May 29.
MOL shares traded 1.4 percent higher at 17,690 forints on the Budapest Stock Exchange on Friday. ($1=.8307 Euro) (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Hans Peters)