The Hungarian oil and gas group MOL on Thursday evening published a statement on the Budapest Stock Exchange containing parts of a recent ruling by the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which dismissed as unfounded Croatia's claims against MOL in a case concerning the Croatian oil company INA, jointly owned by Croatia and MOL.
UNCITRAL overruled Croatia's request to nullify amendments to a 2009 contract on management rights in INA and a gas business master agreement, finding that evidence was not sufficient to prove that the amendments were the result of corruption activities.
MOL recalls in its statement that the arbitral tribunal dismissed Croatia’s claims regarding "bribery, corporate governance and MOL's alleged breaches of the 2003 Shareholders Agreement."
"Having considered most carefully all of Croatia's evidence and submissions on the bribery issue, which has been presented in a most painstaking and comprehensive way, the Tribunal has come to the confident conclusion that Croatia has failed to establish that MOL did in fact bribe (former Croatian prime minister) Dr (Ivo) Sanader. Accordingly, Croatia's case that the FASHA (First Amendment to the Shareholders Agreement) and GMA (Gas Master Agreement) be rendered null and void due to the alleged bribery fails," MOL says in the statement, among other things.
"After this announcement, which was mandatory under Hungarian law, the Hungarian National Bank, as regulator, in its legal notice urged MOL for further publication. Besides, investors, analysts, as well as Hungarian and international media have been regularly requesting MOL to reveal further and more detailed information about all aspects of this award," the company says.
It notes that due to confidentiality rules of the arbitration the full ruling of the arbitral tribunal may not be published for the time being, but that MOL has to comply with the respective rules of the Hungarian capital market as well as the
legal notice of the Hungarian regulator. "Bearing in mind all these requirements and upon careful
consideration MOL decided to make publicly available some further parts of the award relevant for
capital markets," it says in the statement, published on the Budapest Stock Exchange in English and forwarded to Croatian media in the Croatian language.