Hungary vs. EC: Orbán defends energy prices

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Poland: S&P keeps rating at BBB+

Slovak Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania: Eustream needs support

Hungary

The Budapest Business Journal reports Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said his government will not allow Brussels “to interfere with the decision-making process by the authorities over energy prices.” Mr. Orbán added that if the authorities didn’t have the rights to determine energy prices the governmentʼs scheme to keep utility bills low would be compromised.

The prime minister insisted that competition in the energy sector did not result in lowering the prices due to “all sorts of backroom deals.” Hungarian government will defend low utility bills.

Hungarian government kept retail energy prices frozen under a centrally regulated utilities price regime established in 2010. In 2013 and 2014 it introduced a series of sharp price reductions.

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Poland

Standard & Poor’s rating agency decided on December 2nd to keep Poland’s rating unchanged at BBB+. At the same time the agency raised the country’s outlook to stable.

“The outlook revision reflects the reduction in our near-term concerns over a further weakening of key institutions, most importantly Poland’s central bank, caused by the government’s efforts to change and control Poland’s key independent institutions,” S&P writes in its press release.

The Polish Radio quotes Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki, Polish Development and Finance Minister, saying the decision confirmed “the credibility of our economic policy and the healthy state of public finances.”

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Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania

Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria have asked the European Commission (EC) to support the gas transporter Eustream. The company is owned by the Czech energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) and the Slovak state

Eustream has requested co-financing for the construction of the Slovak-Polish gas pipeline, and a grant to co-finance a feasibility study on the Eastring gas pipeline project.

The Slovak Spectator reports: “The Slovak-Polish gas pipeline should be constructed in about three years. It will make Slovakia fully connected with the Baltic Sea as of 2019. The transport capacity of the pipeline should be 5.7 billion cubic metres a year. It will cost Slovakia around EUR100m. The total length of the pipeline is projected to be 164 kilometres, of which more than 100 will run through Slovakia.”

Eastring is a part of the corridor of north-south gas pipeline that connect the gas networks and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals across Central and Eastern Europe. It should also allow Poland to access the so-called southern corridor, while Slovaks will be able to enter the Polish market, including the local LNG terminal.

The Eastring will be built in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and have a capacity of 20 billion cubic metres in the initial phase and 40 billion cubic meters in the final phase.

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What’s up in indexes

BUX (of Budapest) decreased from 30014.04 index points Wednesday, November 30th to 29998.19 index points Thursday, December 1st. So it dropped by 0.05 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 25.41 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) was up 1.70 per cent – increasing from 6832.15 index points Wednesday, November 30th to 6948.28 index points Friday, December 2nd. From year-end it dropped by 0.77 per cent.

PX (of Prague) increased from 885.05 index points Thursday, December 1st to 887.20 index points Friday, December 2nd. So it’s up 0.24 per cent d/d. From year-end it dropped by 7.23.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 0.79 per cent – falling from 1798.22 index points Wednesday, November 30th to 1783.94 index points Thursday, December 1st. From year-end it dropped by 4.05 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) decreased from 1049.39 index points Thursday, December 1st to 1047.86 index points Friday, December 2nd. So it dropped by 0.15 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 16.56 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) was up 0.41 per cent – increasing from 742.61 index points Thursday, December 1st to 745.63 Friday, December 2nd. From year-end it’s up 25.45 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) increased from 558.86 index points Thursday, December 1st to 561.03 index points Friday, December 2nd. So it’s up 0.39 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 15.44 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased from 305.57 index points Thursday, December 1st to 313.56 index points Friday, December 2nd. So it’s up 2.61 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 7.26 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) was up 0.07 per cent d/d and up 22.33 per cent from year-end. It increased from 563.41 index points Thursday, December 1st to 563.82 index points Friday, December 2nd.

UX (of Kyiv) increased from 804.35 index points Thursday, December 1st to 808.51 index points Friday, December 2nd. From year-end it’s up 17.88 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) was up -0.01 per cent d/d – increasing from 1986.23 index points Thursday, December 1st to 1986.33 index points Friday, December 2nd. From year-end it’s up 17.56 per cent.

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