BBJ in print: Rate cuts, M&A, logistics

What are the National Bankʼs predictions for inflation and growth, and what does this mean for monetary policy in the short term? What does last yearʼs M&A activity in Hungary tell us about what to expect this year? And why is the media crowd hanging around a hilltop pizzeria just outside Budapest? Find out in the latest print edition of the BBJ, on newsstands now!

Hungary to face infringement procedure by EC

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. 

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. 

Police arrest three in Quaestor case

Three men were arrested late Thursday 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. 

Gov't 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

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. 

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. 

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

ECONOMY

BUX finishes higher; MOL leads advance

The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index climbed into the green late in the session on Thursday to finish up 0.42% at 20,191.10. Oil and gas company MOL led the advance, gaining 2.84% to HUF 12,495. In spite of the rise, turnover of the share reached just HUF 1.7 bln, a fraction of the HUF 22.2 bln session total.

BUDAPEST

Expect Nagykörút traffic and transit delays

Due to construction, delays can be expected in traffic and transit between Oktogon and Széll Kálmán tér, especially on the Margit bridge, from March 21 for at least two months according to transit authority BKK. The tramlines 4 and 6 will be shortened and replaced in certain sections by buses. It is recommended that travelers avoid the Nagykörút and Margitkörút.

BUSINESS

Meva-Hu winds up HUF 146 mln base

Czech-owned waste management industry supplier Meva-Hu today inaugurated a HUF 146 mln base at the industrial park in Tatabánya, northwestern Hungary, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

BUSINESS

Wabererʼs sets up Italian subsidiary

Hungary-based haulage company Wabererʼs International has established a subsidiary in Milan, Italy, the company informed Hungarian news agency MTI today.

BUSINESS

MNB fines MKB insurance companies for violations

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) today announced it had fined life insurance company MKB Életbiztosító HUF 14 mln and general insurer MKB Általanos Biztosító HUF 10 mln on charges of failing to comply with rules regarding informing clients and managing complaints.

POLITICS

New Fidesz-friendly media outlets foreseen

According to reports, a new right-wing media empire is being put together to replace media outlets that have become less government-friendly since the split between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and media oligarch Lajos Simicska. One report suggests that Fidesz associate Árpád Habony (pictured) will run these outlets.

ECONOMY

EC halts M4 highway works

The European Commission rejected Hungary’s application for funding for the construction of the M4 highway, on suspicion of cartel activity, as it found the construction cost of HUF 4 bln per km too high, Hungarian online daily index.hu reported.

ECONOMY

Report: Tarsoly trusted Szijjártó would help

Questor brokerage’s CEO Csaba Tarsoly reputedly told a private crisis staff meeting on March 8 that he would ask for Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó’s help, and that he would file for bankruptcy until he sorts things out, Hungarian online daily index.hu said based on a report by Hungarian weekly Heti Válasz.

ECONOMY

ÁKK sells less securities than planned on weak demand

The Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) sold just HUF 30 bln of securities at auction on Thursday, well under the planned HUF 55 bln as demand weakened.

ECONOMY

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

The 2014 general government deficit 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 today.

ECONOMY

Report: Hungary’s Acceleration Indicator grows 2.8% in March

The Acceleration Indicator (GYIA), which is a measure of economic and financial indicators compiled by Hungarian economic daily Világgazdaság, increased by a year-on-year 2.8% in March, growing by 0.68% in month-on-month terms, the paper reported today.

ECONOMY

Elmű, Émász shareholders approve dividend proposals

Shareholders of electricity distributors Elmű and Émász, both majority-owned by Germanyʼs RWE, approved proposals to receive dividends of HUF 1,200 per Elmű share and HUF 900 per Émász share, on 2014 earnings, Hungarian news agency MTI said today.

BUSINESS

OTP board proposes HUF 147 per share dividend

OTP Bank said today its board would propose to shareholders the payment of 145% of the face value of its shares as dividend that counts as HUF 147 per share for the business year 2014, according to reports.

POLITICS

EC: Paks talks must continue

Hungary was in talks with the European Unionʼs Euratom Supply Agency yesterday about plans to provide fuel to the Paks nuclear power plant after its pending upgrade according to an EC spokeserson, but she would not confirm cabinet chief János Lázárʼs assertion that an agreement was reached.

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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