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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Surgut Asks Court for MOL Help

Surgutneftegaz filed a request with a Hungarian court asking that all resolutions made in an April 23 meeting by shareholders of MOL, Hungary's largest refiner, be thrown out, MOL said Friday in an announcement to the Budapest Stock Exchange.

The Siberian producer's request is part of a legal action launched by Surgut last week after the Hungarian company refused to register Surgut's claim as a 21.2 percent shareholder.

Surgut purchased a 21 percent stake in MOL from Austria's OMV for 1.4 billion euros ($2 billion) earlier this year, a move that Surgut claimed was not hostile.

MOL, however, called the move "unfriendly" and said it did not see any opportunities to form a partnership with the Russian company.

The Hungarian court set the date of the first hearing in the case for Nov. 11, MOL said in the statement.

At the April 23 meeting, shareholders instituted measures to protect the company from what they called "creeping takeovers, at a time when the company's shareholder base is shifting."

Central and Eastern European oil companies, which are dependent on Russia for a large part of their crude supplies, have been maneuvering to keep the countries' refining industry free of Russian control. MOL shares fell 15 forint, or 0.1 percent, to 13,520 forint ($68.53) in Budapest on Friday.