Editorial: Sunday closing law a bad idea

FROM THE LATEST PRINT EDITION: The Sunday closing law that came into effect March 15 is a bad idea. It only serves special interests, and it should be killed – by legislation or a referendum.

BUX Report: Friday

The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished down 1.12% at 19,964.68 Friday, after rising 0.42% Thursday to the highest since August 3, 2011. It is up 20.02% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

Forint Report: Friday

The forint was trading at 300.50 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, down from 299.79 late Thursday. At 299.97 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 299.68 and 301.31, a four-day low, after reaching a 13-month high at 297.25 Wednesday intraday. It is up 0.94% to the euro from final trades last Friday (3297) after a gain of 0.76% over last week.

Wizz Air to change cockpit procedures

In the wake of the Germanwings’ tragedy, which caused the death of 150 passengers, Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air today confirmed that it has revised its cockpit procedure and will soon introduce new procedures to ensure that the cockpit can never be manned by one single person, airline spokesperson Daniel de Carvalho said.

Design Terminal launches spring mentor program

Out of the 70 startups from the creative industry who submitted applications to participate in Design Terminal’s second mentor program, six were chosen. These include: Do3D, Dori Tomcsányi, Paprikum, Studio Nomad, AP Faktura and November, the urban design institute announced today in a press release.

OPINION

Your brand is your most precious asset

Your brand idea provides you and your customers that common ground that can serve a purpose in both your customersʼ life and your organizationsʼ life.

ECONOMY

Associations turn to Constitutional Court regarding Sunday closures

The alliance of unions Liga and business association VOSZ intend to turn to the Hungarian Constitutional Court regarding the recently introduced Sunday opening hour restrictions for retailers, Liga chairman István Gaskó told a press conference today.

ECONOMY

Szijjártó: Ecuador sees Hungary as its regional trading center

From now on, Ecuador will consider Hungary its regional trading hub in eastern Europe and Hungary will soon open an embassy and a trading house in Quito, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after talks with Ecuadorean government officials.

ECONOMY

MNB: Government deficit in 2014 around 2.3-2.4% of GDP

In 2014, the deficit of the general government sector may have been around 2.3-2.4% of GDP, 0.1-0.2 percentage points lower than forecast in December, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said in its quarterly Inflation Report released yesterday.

ECONOMY

City of Pécs welcomes Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute was opened today in Pécs, southwestern Hungary, to assist in the promotion of traditional Chinese medicine at the local universityʼs health science department, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

ECONOMY

Some HUF 68bn of Buda-Cash assets seized

Some HUF 68 bln in Buda-Cash assets have been secured to provide compensation for the brokerage’s clients who suffered damages when the brokerage went broke, Budapest’s chief prosecutor reportedly said today.

ECONOMY

KSH: Hungaryʼs jobless rate reaches 7.7%

The average unemployment rate in Hungary of those between the ages of 15 and 74 was 7.7% in December-February, down from 8.4% in the same period a year earlier, however, up from 7.4% in November-January, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported today.

POLITICS

PM, on radio, again denies insider information

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán decided to warn ministries to withdraw funds from brokerages “well before” receiving Quaestor CEO Csaba Tarsoly’s letter requesting government help, the prime minister said today in his fortnightly interview with state-owned Kossuth radio.

BUSINESS

MIPSZ holds inaugural meeting

The Hungarian Industrial Park Association (MIPSZ) has a mandate to establish strong advocacy in the interest of industrial parks and local councils with a view to making industrial park developments a priority in time for the new European Union funding period, chairman Tamás Janzsó said at the association’s inaugural meeting in Siófok, near Lake Balaton, yesterday.

ECONOMY

China eyes regional tourism office in Budapest

Chinaʼs tourism authority is planning to open a regional office in Budapest, the nearest similar office being in Zurich, Levente Magyar, state secretary for economic diplomacy said in a statement yesterday.

ECONOMY

ÁKK dep-CEO expects no plans for FX issues in 2016 either

Hungaryʼs Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) expects it will not plan any foreign issues next year, just as this year, deputy-CEO László András Borbély said at a conference yesterday.

POLITICS

Lázár: EC could approve Paks fuel supply agreement in two weeks

Cabinet chief János Lázár said yesterday that the European Commission could clear an agreement between Hungary and Russia on fuel supply for the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant within two weeks. 

BUSINESS

OTP Bank Russia sells RUB 17 bln in bad loans

The Russian unit of Hungaryʼs OTP Bank has sold approximately RUB 17 bln of its bad loans to factors in 2015 alone, Russian business daily Vedomosti said yesterday, citing a source at a factor, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. 

ECONOMY

EC initiates infringement procedure against Hungary

The European Commission said yesterday that it had launched an infringement procedure against Hungary to investigate the countryʼs investor restrictions on farmland, according to Hungarian news agency MTI

BUSINESS

Raiffeisen Bank books HUF 115 bln loss in 2014

Raiffeisen Bank in Hungary booked a HUF 114.7 bln loss last year, after closing 2013 HUF 31.2 bln in the red, CEO Heinz Wiedner said at a press conference yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI

BUSINESS

Appeals court rejects FHB Mortgage Bank contract defense

The Budapest Municipal Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a first-instance ruling rejecting a contract defense by FHB Mortgage Bank. The appeals court also rejected FHB Mortgage Bankʼs request to initiate a procedure with the European Court of Justice. 

POLITICS

Police arrest three in Quaestor case; Lázár defends Orbán

Three men were arrested late yesterday afternoon in connection with the Quaestor brokerage case, according to the National Police Headquarters’ website, and officials continued to deny insider knowledge in the case. 

ECONOMY

Government seeks alternative to M4 motorway project

Following the European Commission’s rejection of Hungaryʼs proposal for the M4 motorway, the government is currently devising a plan to connect Szolnok, in central Hungary, with the existing M5 motorway via a four-lane highway, cabinet chief János Lázár said at a press conference yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. 

ECONOMY

Forint weakens on interbank forex market

The forint traded at 300.17 to the euro late Thursday, weakening from 298.99 around the same time on Wednesday.

BUSINESS

Erste fund buys remainder of Budapest office complex

The Erste Real Estate Fund has bought the rest of Vision Towers, an office block in Budapest, from developer Futureal, the parties announced yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI

expert opinion

Licensing intra-group financing activity

Licensing intra-group financing activity

Csaba Ember

Senior Associate at Gide Loyrette Nouel-dʼOrnano Iroda

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