ECONOMY

Constitutional court annuls court ruling on MNB fine for market manipulation

The Constitutional Court annulled on Tuesday as unconstitutional a January 2014 court ruling, which declared justified a fine levied by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on news portal Napi.hu and daily Napi Gazdaság for illegal market manipulation, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

ECONOMY

ÁKK switches HUF 75 bln short-term bonds to long-term at auction

The Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) sold primary dealers of government securities HUF 75 bln of bonds maturing in 2020 for bonds that run until 2016 and 2017 at a switch auction on Wednesday; HUF 25 bln less than planned.

BUSINESS

Budapest spas see more visitors in 2014

The number of visitors to Budapest's spas grew by a year-on-year 6.5%, reaching 3.5 mln last year, increased by attendees of the Sziget music festival in the summer and visitors during the winter holidays, spa operator BGYH announced yesterday.

BUSINESS

MOL replaces share-option agreements with UniCredit with new ones

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL said on Wednesday its share-option agreements with Unicredit Bank AG are expected to be settled in cash with regard to all the 4,080,496 MOL Series-A Ordinary shares involved in the options on February 13. The two signed a sales agreement on additional shares as well as a new options agreement today.

ECONOMY

OAH: Hungary’s nuclear facilities meet all safety requirements

Hungary's nuclear facilities meet all international and domestic safety requirements, the director of the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH) said at a start-of-the-year press conference in Budapest yesterday.

BUSINESS

Saint-Gobain Hungary revenue climbs more than 6%

French building materials company Saint-Gobain saw a year-on-year 6.2% rise in its revenue last year and is expecting to see similar revenue growth this year, Saint-Gobain Construction Products Hungary told Hungarian news agency MTI yesterday.

BUSINESS

Samsonite Hungária sales grow 20% in 2014

The Hungarian unit of U.S.-based luggage manufacturer Samsonite saw a year-on-year 20% growth both in sales and production in Hungary, plant director József Pinczel told Hungarian news agency MTI.

POLITICS

Ministry: State could oversee elevator maintenance

Not long after Hungarian daily Népszabadság reported that thousands of elevators would either be replaced or refurbished by 2020, the National Economy Ministry suggested that the state take over tasks related to the annual review and maintenance of elevators, state secretary Béla Glattfelder told commercial television channels RTL Klub and TV2 yesterday.

POLITICS

RTL Group confirms it's in talks with Hungarian government

German broadcaster RTL Group confirmed it has been meeting with officials of the Hungarian government in order to discuss the advertisement tax approved in June, daily nol.hu reported yesterday. The tax puts Hungarian RTL Klub into the highest tax bracket by itself and is apparently in retaliation to anti-government coverage.

POLITICS

Healthcare reforms to begin in April

Structural healthcare reforms are imminent, online daily index.hu reported yesterday. The HUF 60-70 bln consolidation program is aimed at eliminating hospital debt. Under the new rules, hospitals will not be allowed to have an operating loss and will be required to pay their debts.

POLITICS

Bencsik: Burden sharing measures not always fair

According to Fidesz MP János Bencsik, “The government has, no doubt, taken measures to regulate capital dominated monopolies in the past five years, but some of the measures regarding burden sharing failed to comply with the principles of fairness, due to a lack of professional planning.” 

ECONOMY

MNB base rate remains on hold

The National Bank of Hungary's (MNB) Monetary Council decided at a meeting held yesterday that it would keep the central bank's base rate on hold at 2.10%, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

BUSINESS

Edelmann builds HUF 4.5 bln production hall in western Hungary

German printing company Edelmann laid the cornerstone of a HUF 4.5 bln production hall in Zalaegerszeg in western Hungary on Friday, MTI news agency reported yesterday. 

ECONOMY

Report: Gazprom examines option to use Hungary gas storages

Russia’s Gazprom is looking into the possibility of keeping Russian gas in Hungary’s big underground reservoirs, Hungarian news agency MTI wrote citing a report by the Russian government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta yesterday. 

BUSINESS

Hungary’s LAC and Romania’s Softronic to set up joint engine production

The chief executives of Hungarian company LAC Holding and Romania’s Softronic signed on Tuesday a document on setting up a joint venture that would manufacture railways engines in Hungary, national news agency MTI reported. 

ECONOMY

Gazprom, Turkey agree to route of new gas pipeline

Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller and Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural resources Taner Yildiz discussed the route of a new pipeline from Russia to Turkey to be built under the Black Sea, during a working meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, Gazprom said in a statement, MTI news agency reported yesterday.

POLITICS

Anti-government demo organizers could expect more NAV investigations

So far nothing irregular has been found by NAV regarding the anti-government demonstration organizers, István Tényi wrote Hungarian news portal Origo.

ECONOMY

Forint mixed on interbank market

The forint was trading at 311.22 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, down from 310.90 late Monday. At 311.05 to the euro early Tuesday, the forint moved between 310.94 and 312.80, after a nearly seven-week high at 306.44 on Monday intraday. It hit an all-time low at 327.62 on January 15.

ECONOMY

BUX up in final trades

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.36% at 16,952.24 Tuesday after rising 0.79% Monday. It is up 1.91% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

BUSINESS

Report: Lázár seeks new truce with RTL Group

Cabinet Chief János Lázár has reputedly been involved in talks with the German owners of Hungarian RTL Klub, in an effort to stop the TV station’s critical news coverage of the government, online daily 444.hu reported yesterday. The news portal says station owners are being asked to fire RTL Klub's CEO in exchange for relief from the punishing ad tax.

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