Forint Report: Thursday

The forint was trading at 313.65 to the euro late Thursday on the interbank forex market, up from 314.18 late Wednesday. Also at 314.18 to the euro early Thursday, the forint moved between 312.94 and 315.60, another almost three-year low.

BUX Report: Thursday

The Budapest Stock Exchange\'s main BUX index finished down 0.33% at 16,199.49 on Thursday, after rising 0.52% Wednesday. It is down 12.74% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. BUX was mostly stable throughout the day, then fell in last trades, as an upbeat assessment of the US economy by the Fed...

Report: Fidesz MP fined for voting against party

MP János Bencsik of the Hungarian governing Fidesz party was fined HUF 300,000 for being the single MP in Fidesz voting against bills and abstaining from bills created and proposed by Fidesz, Hungarian online dailz vs.hu reported.

Auchan: We will stay in Hungary

The CEO of Auchan’s Hungarian unit, Dominique Ducoux, said that nobody and nothing can distract Auchan from their mission of staying present in the everyday life of Hungarian customers by offering them favorable prices. Ducoux was reacting to questions about the future in light of a new law prohibiting retailers to open on Sundays.

MNB projects deficit on target for next year

National Bank of Hungary projects Hungary's general government deficit, calculated with European Union accounting rules, will reach the 2.4%-of-GDP government target next year, if available free reserves are cancelled, the central bank said in a report on Thursday.

ECONOMY

ÁKK sells combined HUF 32 bln of 12-month bills and floaters at auction

The Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) sold HUF 20 bln of 12-month T-bills and sold HUF 12 bln worth of five-year floaters at auction on Thursday, both in line with plans.

ECONOMY

Matolcsy: Forint's drop not a Hungarian problem

There is no special Hungarian story behind the latest weakening of the forint, and the central bank's international reserves provide appropriate protection, central bank chief György Matolcsy said today at a joint press conference with the prime minister. Matolcsy added that the central bank is not compelled to intervene if the forint falls.

BUSINESS

Central banker and PM discuss bank holdings

Central bank governor György Matolcsy said today that the National Bank of Hungary guarantees to provide the "full liquidity" of MKB Bank, recently acquired by the state, at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who suggested that it is too early to consider merging MKB and Budapest Bank.

BUSINESS

Gov’t in talks with Erste, Raiffeisen

On behalf of the Hungarian government, cabinet chief János Lázár, is in negotiations with Austria’s Erste Bank, regarding a strategic partnership, and with Raiffeisen Bank regarding "their future", Lázár told Hungarian weekly Figyelő. Raiffeisen denied they are in talks with the government, Reuters reported.

POLITICS

Lázár ready to ditch Russia, use 'war logic'

Cabinet chief János Lázár said the €10 bln credit from Russia for new reactors at Paks does not “tie Hungary’s hands to Russia” and it would be possible to “step back” from the deal, the weekly Figyelő reported today. Regarding the Ukraine crisis, Lázár reportedly said that it may force Hungary to use "crisis governance" and "war logic" to protect ethnic Hungarians.

OPINION

Torture, Justice and the American Way

On Dec. 9, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released a report about the C.I.A.’s use of torture following 9/11. Since then, several media outlets have sought my opinion – not because I have any particular expertise in interrogation, but because I represent Abu Zubaydah, the man whose torture figured so prominently in the committee’s work.

ECONOMY

Rail line renovation inaugurated

Southeastern Hungary saw the inauguration of a 32-km section of rail line after a renovation of HUF 39 bln expanded the route between Gyomaendrőd and Békéscsaba to 160 km, Hungarian news agency MTI reported yesterday. 

ECONOMY

Gov't, unions come closer to agreement at wage talks

The position of the government and unions regarding next year's wages moved closer to an agreement during talks in the framework of the permanent consultation forum VKF yesterday, according to reports. 

BUSINESS

foodpanda acquires Hungarian NetPincér

Leading food ordering marketplace foodpanda acquired Hungarian peer NetPincér, according to a press realease issued by foodpanda yesterday. 

BUSINESS

Intesa Sanpaolo to invest HUF 38 bln into Hungarian unit

CIB Bank on Wednesday said its owner, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo, would raise its capital by HUF 38 bln, MTI news agency reported. 

BUSINESS

SPAR suspends investments in Hungary due to new legislation

A recent tax law has hit foreign supermarket and hypermarket chains in Hungary the hardest including Austrian-owned SPAR, and is compounded by brand new legislation enforcing mandatory closure of shops on Sunday, passed on December 16 – a law which seems to favor smaller local and franchised grocery chains.

ECONOMY

BUX stabilises on mixed outlook

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.52% at 16,253.84 on Wednesday, after tumbling 4.80% to a nine-month low on Tuesday. It is down 12.44% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013.

ECONOMY

Student loan rates to stay unchanged

State-owned student loan provider Diákhitel Központ is planning to keep the interest rate on its loans unchanged for the period between January 1 and June 30, 2015, the provider announced today.

BUSINESS

HVG: Tax may drive TV2 production abroad

Commercial channel TV2, which has Fidesz-friendly ownership, is considering relocating its production abroad, in order to avoid the burden that the progressive advertisement tax is posing on the channel, Hungarian online daily HVG reported today.

ECONOMY

Varga: 2015 GDP growth to reach 3%

Hungary's GDP growth rate is expected to rise 0.5-0.6 percentage point over the 2.5% target for next year if oil prices remain low, with a probability of reaching 3%, National Economy Minister Mihály Varga announced today.

BUDAPEST

Belgrade-Budapest rail construction agreement signed

The prime ministers of Hungary, Serbia, China and Macedonia signed an agreement in Belgrade at the Central and Eastern Europe-China summit yesterday, regarding the construction of a rail link between Budapest and Belgrade, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

ECONOMY

MNB publishes guidelines for banks on application of 'fair banking'

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) published guidelines on the main principles it expects banks to follow when applying the recently approved law on "fair banks", which locks in interest rates for loans under three years and requires lenders to use an indicator, approved by the MNB, to calculate rate changes for loans with longer terms, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

POLITICS

MSZP gathers support for road toll parliament session

The Hungarian Socialist party (MSZP) collected the required number of signatures for an extraordinary parliamentary session initiated by the party on the planned changes in the road toll system, the party's parliamentary group told Hungarian news agency MTI late yesterday.

ECONOMY

Russian economic worries batter BSE, forint

Concerns about troubles with the Russian economy today continued to plague the Budapest Stock Exchange, which was down 1.76% at 11 a.m., and the forint, which was trading at EUR 312.295 at 10 a.m. today.

ECONOMY

State Treasury completes EU-financed programs

The Hungarian State Treasury has completed two operative programs worth more than HUF 2 bln, fully financed from European Union funding, president József Dancsó told the press today.

expert opinion

Torture, Justice and the American Way

Torture, Justice and the American Way

by Joseph Marguiles

The MarkNews