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Hungary could finance Vodafone purchase with a loan

FILE PHOTO: A man checks his mobile phone next to a Vodafone logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary could finance the acquisition of a 49% stake in the Hungarian business of Britain's Vodafone from a loan, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff suggested on Tuesday.

When asked if the purchase of the Vodafone stake worth about 350 billion forints ($845.12 million) would be financed from a loan, Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told reporters:

"When the deal is signed, we will reveal the details ... but your assumption is not far from the reality."

Vodafone announced on Monday that it planned to sell its Hungarian business for 715 billion forints in cash to local IT company 4iG and the Hungarian state.

The deal is expected to create Hungary's second largesttelecoms operator. 4iG will hold a majority 51% stake with the state the remainder, consolidating the hold of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government over the telecoms sector.

($1 = 414.1400 forints)

(Reporting by Anita Komuves; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)