U.S. Embassy not naming corruption suspects

The U.S. Embassy said in a press conference yesterday it would not name the ten Hungarians who have been denied entry into the U.S. on corruption charges. But local media say the list includes Ildiko Vida, head of the tax authority, and Péter Heim, who runs the foundation that owns daily Napi Gazdaság, which originally broke the story on Thursday.

Big in Japan: Interview with Péter Balogh of NNG

NNG CEO Péter Balogh talks exclusively to the Budapest Business Journal about navigating the journey from startup to global automotive GPS leader, the almost fatal crash of 2008, taking risks, seeking success in Japan and coming to grips with budgetary discipline.

MTel boosts 4G coverage to 73%, targets 93%

The Hungarian subsidiary of German giant Deutsche Telekom, Magyar Telekom's coverage rate of the fourth-generation (4G) mobile network will jump from 53% to 73% tomorrow, when the company launches frequencies it purchased at a recent tender, CEO Christopher Mattheisen said at a press conference today.

BBJ in print: Telecoms, macro news, diplomacy

How does the CEO of market-leader Magyar Telekom view the Hungarian telecoms business – and the economy in general? Why is the new foreign minister getting rid of hundreds of long-term staffers with diplomatic connections? What does the slowdown in production and drop in prices mean for the country's economic outlook? Find out in the latest edition of the Budapest Business Journal, on newsstands now!

Fitch downgrades K&H and Erste Bank Hungary

International financial credit rating service Fitch Ratings yesterday said it downgraded the long-term issuer default rating of both Hungarian institutions – K&H Bank and Erste Bank – to 'BBB-' from 'BBB', while keeping the outlooks for the ratings stable.

POLITICS

PM discusses Hungarian-Kazakh investment fund

The establishment of a Hungarian-Kazakh investment fund and the opening of a Hungarian embassy in Kuala Lumpur were in the focus of talks between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, respectively, Hungarian news agency MTI reported yesterday.

BUSINESS

T-Systems ads target mobile users who want relevant info

German-based T-Systems International is introducing a new mobile advertising service with the technical support of IT Services Hungary Kft., the company announced in mid- September. The service is designed to send SMS and coupons to consumers who will be interested in those messages – at the right time and place. It is meant to deliver advertising that people want, without being disturbed. 

ECONOMY

Hungary, Laos discuss agriculture, trade

Hungary and Laos began negotiations on tied aid of tens of millions of dollars to finance Hungarian agricultural projects in the Asian nation, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced yesterday.

ECONOMY

Court overturns decision withdrawing INA drilling licenses

Croatia's highest court overturned an earlier ruling whereby oil and gas company INA, in which Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has 49% stakes, lost drilling licences in the northwest of the country, Croatian online daily tportal.hr reported yesterday.

BUSINESS

Yacht club completes HUF 300 mln improvement

Hungary's oldest yacht club, located in Balatonfüred, completed an improvement project yesterday at a cost of over HUF 300 mln. The Balatonfüred Yacht Club's managing director István Borocz informed Hungarian news agency MTI that the club's hangars were rebuilt and disused buildings were demolished.

BUSINESS

Invitel developing network

Invitel continues the implementation of its large-scale development program launched in 2012, worth close to HUF 4.5 bln, the company announced at a press conference.

ECONOMY

Forint volatile on interbank market

The forint was trading at 305.70 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, up from 307.28 late Thursday. At 307.08 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 305.58, a three-day high, and 308.23.

ECONOMY

BUX up with European peers

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 1.90% at 17,648.88 Friday, after sliding 1.05% Thursday. It is down 4.93% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. In line with regional peers, the Budapest parquet staged a rebound Friday, tracking a bounce in world markets after this week's huge sell-off on concerns over the global and local economy, and new frictions between Hungary's government and the EU executive.

POLITICS

NAV officials banned from U.S. after corruption charge

Three leading officials of Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) were blacklisted and banned entry to the United States for what the U.S. Embassy in Budapest said was reliable reports of corruption, 444.hu reported today.

ECONOMY

TakarékBank loses appeal in loan contract case

The Budapest Municipal Court of Appeals today upheld a ruling rejecting Magyar Takarékszövetkezeti Bank's defense of changes it made to loan contracts, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

BUDAPEST

Russian railway company discontinues service to Budapest

Russia's railway company is planning to discontinue its regular passenger service to Budapest, Hungary on December 1 due to the fall in purchased ticket numbers, Russian news agency Tass reported today. The company added it would also discontinue passenger service to Sofia, Bulgaria.

ECONOMY

National Deposit Insurance Funds pays out HUF 90 bln this year

Hungary's National Deposit Insurance Fund (OBA) has paid out almost HUF 90 bln to the clients of three failed savings cooperatives this year, up from HUF 76.6 bln in 2013, Hungarian business daily Világgazdaság reported today.

ECONOMY

Szijjártó: Hungary, South Korea trade rapidly growing

Trade between Hungary and South Korea has been growing rapidly with Hungarian exports to Korea totalling almost $300 mln last year, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said yesterday. Szijjártó held negotiations with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Milan, foreign ministry press chief Judit Fülöp informed Hungarian news agency MTI today.

ECONOMY

Hungary plans to restart gas flows to Ukraine in January

Hungary plans to restart gas deliveries to Ukraine in January, the local representative of Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz told Hungarian business daily Világgazdaság. A regional gas hub may also be established near the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, the paper noted. 

POLITICS

Lázár to oversee MKB Bank

The Prime Minister's Office will exercise the state's ownership rights in MKB Bank until the end of 2018, according to a decree by the National Development Minister published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny.

POLITICS

Orbán, Swiss president discuss economic cooperation

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held talks with Didier Burkhalter, president of the Swiss Confederation, on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan today. The parties concluded that the economic cooperation of the two countries are problem-free, press chief of the prime minister’s office informed Hungarian news agency MTI.

POLITICS

Gov't ready to stand up for ad tax in Brussels

The government is ready to stand up for Hungary's tax on advertisements in Brussels if it comes to it, the government's spokeswoman said in a statement yesterday. Éva Kurucz, reacting to a report in Hungarian daily Népszabadság, said that the RTL Group had lodged an official complaint with the European Commission (EC) regarding the tax and that the cabinet was prepared to defend the levy...

BUSINESS

Another player eyes the mobile market

FROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITION: The big surprise in the latest tender for mobile frequencies was that cable provider Digi joined the existing three mobile companies in buying bandwidth. Insiders speculate that they could be planning a partnership that would reshape Hungary’s mobile landscape.

OPINION

Editorial: Congratulations Fidesz, now choose well

FROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITION: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been enjoying a well-deserved celebration of the October 12 municipal elections, in which Hungarians overwhelmingly chose members of his ruling Fidesz party. The question now is: What next?

BUSINESS

Hungarian company tops Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list for region

Hungary's Szallas.hu, an online service for booking commercial accommodations, is number one on this year's Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in Central Europe list, the consultancy said yesterday. Deloitte compiles the list to draw attention to fast-growing companies in the region.

expert opinion

Big in Japan

Big In Japan

Péter Balogh

NNG CEO