BUSINESS

Libri to see HUF 9.1 bln revenue this year

Hungarian book retailer Libri said today in a statement today that it expects to see a net sales revenue of HUF 9.1 bln this year, HUF 800 mln higher than in the previous year. 

BUSINESS

New production halls valued at HUF 1 bln open in Bonyhád

Two production halls worth almost HUF 1 bln were inaugurated at the Bonyhád industrial park in southwestern Hungary, on Thursday. The park's operator won a HUF 473 mln European Union and state grant for the investment.

ECONOMY

Hungary’s economy continues to feel the weight of Russian crisis

Hungary's economic growth is expected to continue to slow due to the currency crisis in Russia, while the low oil price will also weigh on the country's inflation rate, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) warned again on Thursday. 

BUSINESS

EY: GDP growth to slow down in 2015

EY (formerly Ernst and Young) expects the Hungarian GDP to grow 3.2% this year and continue to grow in the coming years, albeit at a more moderate pace, atv.hu reported on Thursday. 

BUSINESS

Gov’t to set up compensation for clients of Széchenyi Bank

The government is establishing a compensation fund for the depositors of the failed Széchenyi Commercial Bank, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a press conference with the central bank governor on Thursday. Orbán said HUF 5.5 bln would be in the fund.

BUSINESS

Bank of China opens regional headquarters in Budapest, Hungary

The Bank of China opened a regional headquarters in Budapest on Thursday, news agency MTI reported.

BUSINESS

Erste Bank Hungary to raise capital at home savings bank

Erste Bank Hungary will raise the registered capital of its home savings bank Erste Lakástakarékpénztár by HUF 500 mln, the bank said on the Budapest Stock Exchange website on Thursday. 

BUSINESS

BTel shares to be suspended Friday

Trade in the shares and corporate bonds of Business Telecom (BTel) will be suspended from 1 p.m. on Friday, December 19, pending an extraordinary announcement by the company, according to a resolution by the Budapest Stock Exchange's chief executive published after the market closed on Thursday. 

ECONOMY

Forint mixed on interbank market

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.

ECONOMY

BUX falls on OTP and Richter, MOL shines

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 Wednesday evening, and a swift improvement of Western markets Thursday failed to impress investors in the Budapest parquet.

POLITICS

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 daily vs.hu reported.

BUSINESS

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.

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

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

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. 

expert opinion

Torture, Justice and the American Way

Torture, Justice and the American Way

by Joseph Marguiles

The MarkNews