Hungarian oil and gas group MOL said yesterday it has sold a stake in its Rotary Drilling unit to part of Croatia's INA group.

MOL said INA's Grosco drilling unit bought Rotary's foreign operations in Syria and Tunisia after winning an international tender. MOL did not disclose the names of other bidders or the value of the deal.

But it said the sale of the Rotary Drilling unit stake, the first step in selling off the drilling unit in line with a strategy to ditch non-core businesses, would have "no significant impact" on MOL group finances.

Rotary dominates Hungary's oil and gas drilling market and also delivers contract services to international oil producers in North Africa and the Middle East.

Earlier this month, MOL was one of five bidders shortlisted for the sale of a 25 per cent stake, plus one share, in INA, its Croatian sector peer.

That part privatisation is expected to be completed early next year.

INA has been valued at 1.2 to 1.8 billion euros by advisers Deutsche Bank and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.