Navracsics finally made European Comissioner

Tibor Navracsics, the Hungarian nominee for a European commissioner’s portfolio, was appointed commissioner for culture, education, youth and sport, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission’ s president, announced at a plenary session of the European Parliament today.

Hungary could build South Stream Pipeline

Hungary could start building its own segment of the South Stream Pipeline, despite the EU objection to the project, under an amended bill proposed by Antal Rogán, the head of the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group, news portal index.hu reported today.  

ÁKK sees unusually poor demand for T-bills

The Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) refused all bids for 12-month discount T-bills and sold half of the planned volume of five-year floaters on poor demand at today’s government securities auctions – a highly unusual occurrence.

Critics: Internet tax to return Hungary to the '90s

Hungary’s opposition E-PM alliance urged the government to scrap plans of levying a tax on internet data transfers in a statement released today. According to estimates, the government’s plans mean that every downloaded gigabyte would cost Hungarian internet service providers HUF 150, and many believe ISPs would simply pass the tax on to users. 

Government to levy taxes on soap and shampoo

The government’s plan to tax “other chemical products” in 2015 means that Hungarians might face price increases on soap, shampoo, washing powder, cosmetics, deodorants, air fresheners and even artificial flowers, Hungarian online daily Világgazdaság reported today. 

POLITICS

Szijjártó meets U.S. managers in Washington

Enjoying a day away from the heat of the U.S.-Hungary fracas about corruption, Hungarian Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó met with top officials of U.S. corporations in Washington yersterday.

OPINION

Added value

Experts say companies’ export financing provide significant business opportunities. In this interview, István Fetter, head of CIB’s Trade Finance Division, talks about his bank’s offerings in this area.

POLITICS

Former telecoms regulator blasts internet tax plan

The proposed tax on internet usage will hurt Hungarian businesses, obstruct social mobility and reduce freedom of the press, according Krisztina Rozgonyi, the former head of the Hungarian telecoms regulatory body, who joined a chorus of critics of the plan.

BUSINESS

Flex-Coop completes HUF 249 mln production hall

Hungary's Flex-Coop, which makes material handling systems, has completed a HUF 249 mln production hall at its base in Batonyterenye in northeastern Hungary, managing director Zoltán Sólyomi told MTI.

BUDAPEST

Smiling Hospital organizes fundraising event

Smiling Hospital Foundation together with the British International School of Budapest are organizing a fund raising event in the Marriott Hotel, Budapest on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

ECONOMY

Report: Hungary's redistribution rate rises in 2013

Hungary's redistribution rate – government expenditure as a percentage of GDP – rose by one percentage point from 2012 to 49.7% last year after a drop in the previous year, according to a report released yesterday by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.

BUSINESS

Bill would allow OTP to write off Ukrainian losses

In a provision apparently tailored to OTP Bank, a tax bill submitted by the government to Parliament yesterday would allow the bank to deduct some losses in Ukraine from the bank tax next year.

BUSINESS

Provision would harmonize pálinka tax with EU rules

A provision in a tax bill submitted by the government to Parliament on yesterday would eliminate a tax exemption for distillation of spirits for all households but fruit growers. The changes are intended to harmonize Hungarian law with European Union rules, according to the justification for the provision.

POLITICS

Varga says tax office chief not affected by U.S. entry ban

Economy Minister Mihály Varga said yesterday that he did not think tax office chief Ildikó Vida was among the persons blacklisted by the U.S. immigration authority. Varga told a press conference that he is supposed to receive all information affecting the work of the tax office chief, and he had not been informed about any such restriction.

ECONOMY

Government deficit at 85.8% after good September

Hungary's cashflow-based general government deficit, excluding local councils, had a HUF 14.2 bln surplus in September, narrowing the gap to HUF 844.6 bln or 85.8% of the full-year target, the National Economy Ministry confirmed in a second reading of data yesterday.

BUDAPEST

Lufthansa cancels 18 flights due to strike

After the workers of German airline Lufthansa went on strike on Monday, the German airline announced yesterday that it cancelled seven flights arriving to and departing from Budapest, respectively.

ECONOMY

New internet tax planned; other sectoral taxes to stay in 2015

A new tax of between 4.5-6% will be charged on internet service providers while other sectoral taxes on banks, telecoms and advertisements will stay in place, according to Economics Minister Mihály Varga, who began describing detailed plans for next year's tax regimen at a press conference today.

ECONOMY

Forint mixed on interbank market

The forint was trading at 306.46 to the euro late Tuesday on the interbank forex market, up from 307.21 late Monday. At 307.17 to the euro early Tuesday, the forint moved between 306.23 and 307.56.

ECONOMY

BUX up on ECB stimulus talk

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.91% at 17,493.35 Tuesday, after plunging 1.77% Monday. It is down 5.77% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. An upturn in Western markets helped the Budapest parquet to a rise, too, but it remained muted in low volumes.

BUSINESS

Siemens inaugurates HUF 600 mln training center in Budapest

German engineering company Siemens opened a HUF 600 mln training center today which offers vocational training for approximately 100 students, the company announced today.

BUSINESS

Daylight savings time over on Sunday; turn clocks back

Daylight savings time, or summer time, is over this weekend, and clocks need to be turned one hour back at 3 a.m. Sunday – which will then become 2 a.m.

ECONOMY

Three-month bill auction undersubscribed

Tuesday's auction of three-month discount T-bills was undersubcribed, and the Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) sold HUF 20 bln or just half of the original offer at rising yields, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today. The auction was the first undersubscribed three-month bill auction this year. The auction yield rose for the first time since the middle of May.

ECONOMY

KSH: Gross wages up 2.9% to HUF 234,600

Average gross earnings from January to August 2014 rose to HUF 234,600 per month. This represents a 2.9% increase year-on-year for that period, the latest publication of the Central Statistics Office (KSH) revealed today.

ECONOMY

KSH: Business employment up y.o.y. in August, down from July

The number of employees in Hungary's business sector rose 3.0% in August year-on-year, but dropped from the previous month, a publication of the Central Statistics Office (KSH) revealed today. The data include both private and state-owned companies who employ at least five people.

ECONOMY

Banks deposit HUF 10 mln in 'Stability Savings Accounts'

Hungarian banks opened a total of 155 "Stability Savings Accounts" with deposits of HUF 10.25 bln in Q3, Hungarian business daily Napi Gazdaság reported today. In the first three quarters 444 accounts were opened with total deposits of HUF 29.37 bln, the paper added.

expert opinion

Controlling Brazil’s Amazonian deforestation