Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, headed for the biggest rally in three weeks as data showed Hungary’s economy expanded more than forecast in the fourth quarter and the central bank pledged to boost lending.
The shares jumped 3.7 percent to 4,075 forint by 1:05 p.m. in Budapest, the biggest gain on a closing basis since Jan. 26. The benchmark BUX stock index, in which OTP has an almost 30 percent weighting, gained 1.3 percent.
Gross domestic product increased 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office in Budapest said today in a preliminary estimate. The median forecast of 16 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 0.9 percent increase. The central bank announced a two-year collateralized credit facility, a universal mortgage bond purchase plan and the expansion of the range of eligible collateral to help commercial banks boost lending.
“The new tools should decrease the current liquidity constraints in the banking sector,” Zoltan Arokszallasi and Orsolya Nyeste, Budapest-based economists at Erste Group Bank AG, wrote in an e-mailed report. “The announcement is positive for Hungarian markets.”
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