A long-running dispute between Croatia and Mol, the Hungarian oil and gas company, over control of Ina, Mol’s Croatian counterpart, has flared up again.

Zagreb is seething over a statement issued by Mol after talks on Friday which said the latest round of negotiations had achieved precisely nothing. The ministry told beyondbrics the Mol statement was “a lie” and threatened to publish a recording of the negotiations unless Mol withdraws it. Read more

Mol, the Hungarian oil and gas group, has acquired stakes in 14 oil exploration and production units in the North Sea for $375m from Wintershall, a member of the German BASF Group, Mol said on Friday.

The deal, Mol’s first foray into off-shore operations, gives the Budapest-based group a foothold in the well-established region to the north and east of the Scottish coast, with a mix of some wells that are currently producing oil and others of significant future potential. Read more

By Tim Gosling of bne

Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak has reiterated his government’s desire to buy out Hungary’s Mol Group from local oil and gas firm Ina Group earlier this week – but is this just more rhetoric as the two sides looks to gain the upper hand in talks over operational control of the Croatian company? How long can the protracted battle drag on for? Read more

Mol, the Hungarian oil and gas group, offered what appears to be an olive branch to Croatia on Thursday in the ongoing row over the control of Ina, the Zagreb-based refiner in which Mol owns just short of 50 per cent. Read more

Hungary’s fast-expanding re-nationalisation programme, led by former anti-Communist activist Viktor Orban, on Thursday took a great leap forward.

MVM, the state electricity company and emerging energy combine, is to pay around €870m for full control of E.ON Földgáz Trade and E.ON Földgáz Storage, the Hungarian gas trading and storage companies currently owned by Germany’s E.ON. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

A word of advice to investors thinking of taking a flutter on central European refiners: don’t.

That comes from Tomas Pletser of Erste Bank, who took a look at the region’s refiners and found little to cheer in a sector buffeted by overcapacity, and by the slowdown in western Europe, all with the threat of growing competition from Russian refiners. Read more

MOL, the Hungarian oil group, is sticking to its guns. In a statement on Wednesday the company categorically rejected the findings of a Croatian court in which Croatia’s former prime minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty of corruption – including taking bribes from MOL. Read more

Croatia’s efforts to attack corruption in advance of its imminent accession into the EU have claimed the scalp of former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who on Tuesday was found guilty of taking bribes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The judgement could help Zagreb persuade Brussels that it is serious about cleaning up public life. But it could create difficulties with two EU members, Austria and Hungary, as the companies which allegedly bribed Sanader were the Austrian-controlled Bank Hypo-Alpe-Adria and the Hungarian oil giant MOLRead more

The Warsaw Stock Exchange has long been hungry to play a role beyond just Poland – the peripatetic chief executive Ludwik Sobolewski has illustrated that in his attempts pull in new listings from across the region. Now the exchange is making that formal by launching a new WIG-CEE index.

The index can include companies from a country with at least two listings on the WSE as long as they come from different sectors. The 25-company list includes firms from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Read more