Star local pilot switches from Hungarian plane

FROM THE LATEST PRINT EDITION: Hungarian aerobatics pilot and renowned world champion air racer Péter Besenyei is planning to switch to American Edge 540 aircraft from the Hungarian Corvus Racer 540 in the Red Bull Air Race series, starting with the Budapest race on July 4-5, the pilot tells the Budapest Business Journal. 

Forint Report: Friday

The forint was trading at 301.02 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, up from 301.86 late Thursday. At 302.02 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 300.65 and 302.46, after a more than almost two-week low at 302.56 Thursday intraday, following a new 15-month high at 295.28 Tuesday 

BUX Report: Friday

The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished down 2.62% at 21,326.99 Friday after falling 0.80% Thursday. It is up 28.21% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year. Taking its cue from diving European indices, exacerbated by baling-out usual on a Friday, the Budapest parquet plunged for a second day.

Budapest Airport to build HUF 1 bln hangar

Budapest Airport, the operator of Liszt Ferenc International Airport, is building a HUF 1 bln hangar where Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air is due to move to in September, property director René Droese announced today.

MOL-INA talks stall; MOL would sell stake

Talks between Hungarian oil and gas group MOL and the Croatian government, the two major shareholders of Croatian energy group INA, have been stalled since last summer, MOL Chairman Zsolt Hernádi (pictured) said yesterday at a public press conference, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

OPINION

To be or not to be (an executive)?

Hungarian law differentiates between “ordinary” employees and executives. The biggest difference is that many provisions of the Hungarian Labour Code which protect “ordinary” employees and restrict what kind of agreement can be made with them do not apply to executives. This means that the law is less protective and more flexible towards executives.

ECONOMY

Official: EU could continue funding if issues are solved

Despite reports of concerns in the European Commission about corruption, Jyrki Katainen of Finland, the ECʼs Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said in Budapest today that he believes EU funding for Hungarian tenders is being suspended for “technical issues”, according to Hungarian online daily index.hu.

BUSINESS

OTP shareholders tap profit reserves to pay HUF 145-per-share dividend

Shareholders of OTP Bank approved at an annual general meeting today a proposal to pay a HUF 145-per-share dividend from profit reserves which amount to HUF 40.6 bln, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

ECONOMY

Surge in NAV inspections raises revenue by HUF 1.5 bln

Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) said that inspections based on an electronic monitoring system for road haulage companies, which aims to squeeze out tax evaders, have increased tax revenue by HUF 1.5 bln in March, Hungarian economic daily Napi Gazdaság reported today.

ECONOMY

Confucius Institute, University of Szeged to establish China center

The Confucius Institute and the University of Szeged in southeastern Hungary, yesterday signed a declaration of intent to establish a China center, which would focus on education, innovation and foreign relations, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

ECONOMY

Officials: EU investment plan should support university-business partnerships

Tibor Navracsics, European commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport from Hungary, and Jyrki Katainen, the ECʼs Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness from Finland, agreed in Budapest today that the European Unionʼs €300 bln investment plan announced last November should be used to support innovative research projects based on partnerships between universities, research institutes and the business sector.

ECONOMY

Analysts expect MNB cut base rate further

Reuters-polled analysts anticipate the National Bank of Hungary’s (MNB) rate-setting Monetary Council to cut the current 1.95% base rate by a further 10-15 bp at the upcoming policy meeting on Tuesday.

ECONOMY

Gov’t submits Beva compensation bill

Hungary’s National Economy Minister Mihály Varga yesterday submitted a bill to Parliament that would raise the compensation threshold of the Investor Protection Fund (Beva) from €20,000 to €100,000.

POLITICS

Lázár proposes pay rise for public administration workers

Cabinet Chief János Lázár yesterday proposed that the salaries of employees in Hungaryʼs public sector should be raised by 30-50% as of July 2016.

ECONOMY

Vietnam proposes €350 mln hospital investment with Hungarian assistance

The Vietnamese government has proposed the construction of a €350 mln hospital with Hungarian assistance as well as water industry investments, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said after a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Budapest yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

BUSINESS

Hungary’s Naturtex signs contract with Chinese partner

Hungarian pillow and duvet manufacturer Naturtex and its Chinese partner Luolai Home Textile Co. yesterday signed a contract under which Naturtex will supply the Chinese firm with products for five years.

BUSINESS

Raba shareholders decide to pay no dividend

Shareholders of Hungarian automotive industry company Raba decided at an annual general meeting yesterday that the company would pay no dividend and also approved it’s Hungarian Accounting Standards profit and loss statement, which shows a loss of HUF 298 mln.

ECONOMY

Testing period extended on Hungary-Slovakia gas link

The testing period for the new gas pipeline connecting Hungary and Slovakia has been extended until May 31, Slovak pipeline operator Eustream said. During the testing phase, the pipeline operators are offering 50,000 megawatt hours per day entry and exit capacities to Hungary on a first come-first serve basis, Eustream said in a statement. 

BUSINESS

TakarékBank total assets rise by two-thirds in 2014

Magyar Takarékszövetkezeti Bank (TakarékBank) yesterday said its total assets rose 66% to HUF 800 bln last year. TakarékBank said its shareholders had decided to pay a HUF 1.6 bln dividend from last yearʼs HUF 2 bln after-tax profit at an annual general meeting yesterday. 

BUSINESS

MagNet Bank buys factoring company

MagNet Bank said yesterday it bought factoring company CE Faktor Zrt. The parties did not reveal the price of the transaction. MagNet Bank received regulatory approval for the acquisition last December. 

BUSINESS

Coloplast doubles size of base in Nyírbátor

Danish medical supplies company Coloplast yesterday inaugurated a HUF 7.9 bln production hall at its base in Nyírbátor, northeastern Hungary, with the support of a HUF 1.1 bln state subsidy, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

ECONOMY

Govʼt to make finance, economics obligatory subjects

The Hungarian government anticipates making basic financial and economics studies obligatory subjects for all secondary school students as of 2016, in order to develop financial culture in Hungary, deputy state secretary Áron Márk Lenner said at a conference yesterday. 

BUDAPEST

Orbán, FINA chief sign agreement on 2017 world championships

Hungaryʼs Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and international swimming federation FINA president Julio C. Maglione yesterday signed an agreement in Lausanne, under which Budapest is scheduled to host the World Aquatics Championships in 2017. 

ECONOMY

Investment funds assets edge down to HUF 5.591 trillion in March

Assets in investment funds managed by members of the Association of Hungarian Investment Fund and Asset Management Companies (BAMOSZ) fell by HUF 10.8 bln to HUF 5.591 trillion in March, BAMOSZ said yesterday.

POLITICS

Report: EC suspects ‘corruptionʼ in tenders

European funding for construction on a stretch of M4 highway was blocked because the European Commission found overpricing in the tenders, according to a report that was published today by online daily hvg.hu and cites documents received from the EC.

expert opinion

To be or not to be (an executive)?

To be or not to be (an executive)?

by Kinga Hetényi

Managing partner at Schoenherr Hetényi Attorneys at Law.

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