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

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

Banks deposit HUF 10 mln in ‘Stability 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 of the accounts, which are sheltered from legal scrutiny, were opened with total deposits of HUF 29.37 bln, the paper added.

T-Systems, Nádor launch ticket sales system

T-Systems Magyarország, the Hungarian unit of the German global IT firm, and Nádor Rendszerház, a Hungarian IT company, jointly won tenders to supply equipment for a new ticket sales system to be introduced on the passenger trains of state-owned Hungarian railways MÁV by the middle of 2015, Hungarian daily Népszabadság reported today.

Report: Foreign firms see lack of transparency

The number of foreign companies operating in Hungary that are satisfied with the country’s transparency and its level of corruption is close to zero, an annual report by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) reveals.

Report: Hungarian hotels inflate star ratings

Ten percent of Budapest hotels are not actually qualified for the stars they’re claiming – and the situation outside of the capital is far worse, vg.hu reported yesterday, based on data published by Hungarian Central Statistics Office (KSH) and The Hungarian Association of Hotels and Restaurants (MSZÉSZ).

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

Competition Office fines regional publishers

Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) on Monday said it fined four regional publishers almost HUF 2.2 bln for colluding on market share, news agency MTI reported yesterday.

OPINION

Controlling Brazil’s Amazonian deforestation

Brazil’s Amazonian deforestation declined dramatically from 2004 to 2012, and many have been quick to claim credit for the improvement. The Brazilian government has repeatedly claimed that the change is thanks to inspections and fines for illegal clearing, and soy multinationals claim their supply chains are now “green” thanks to self-governance.

POLITICS

Six Hungarians affected by U.S. entry ban

Six Hungarians are affected by the entry ban to the United States on suspicion of corruption, and all six people are government employees or affiliated with the government, André Goodfriend, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Budapest said, according to MTI news agency.

POLITICS

Corruption in Hungary 'a ticking timebomb'

The recent speculation surrounding allegations of corruption by Hungarian officials is now in the hands of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which held a hearing in Brussels yesterday regarding the case of Hungarian officials who were banned from entering the U.S.

ECONOMY

Fiscal Council receives 2015 budget draft

Hungary's Fiscal Council received the draft of next year's central budget act on Monday, and intends to prepare its opinion on the draft by October 27 or 28, Council president Árpád Kovács informed Hungarian news agency MTI late yesterday. Legislation gives the Fiscal Council ten days to formulate its opinion on the draft.

ECONOMY

Forint down on interbank market

The forint was trading at 306.92 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, down from 305.82 late Friday and 305.84 late Sunday. At 305.83 to the euro early Monday, the forint moved between 305.62 and 307.27. The Hungarian currency fell back in a resurgence of global risk avoidance.

ECONOMY

BUX down with European peers

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished down 1.77% at 17,336.26 Monday, after surging 1.09% Friday. It is down 6.61% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. Last week it fell 0.29% after sinking 1.08% the previous week. With the turn of tide all over Europe, the Budapest parquet also took a dip.

ECONOMY

ÁKK to hold first liquidity bill auction since March next Monday

Hungary's Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) will offer HUF 50 bln discount T-bills expiring before the end of the year at an auction of short-term "liquidity" bills on October 27, the announcement on ÁKK's website shows. This will be the first liquidity bill auction since the middle of March.

ECONOMY

Tremendous truffle celebrated

The largest truffle ever uncovered in Hungary was presented to the national farm museum in Budapest, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today. The 1.28 kg specimen — just 20 g lighter than the largest truffle ever found in the world — was presented by farm minister Sándor Fazekas.

ECONOMY

Government to submit budget draft to Fiscal Council

After revealing the draft budget for 2015, the National Economy Ministry will submit it to the Fiscal Council today, the ministry informed Hungarian news agency MTI. The final budget will be published by the end of this month.

BUSINESS

Audi Hungária to produce TT Roadster

German car producer Audi is launching production of its third-generation TT Roadster models at its plant in Hungary, located in Győr, early in November, Audi Hungária Motor announced today. Production of the new models are officially scheduled for November 5.

ECONOMY

KSH: Home loan approvals on the rise

In the first half of 2014, the number of home loan approvals was more than 23,000, up 33% year-on-year, and the total value of the loans approved during this period was HUF 101 bln, up 53%, although this was partly due to a low base, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported today.

ECONOMY

Agreement reached between Russia and Ukraine on gas price

“Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Russia on a provisional price for gas deliveries during the coming winter months. Poroshenko said the deal was reached at talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Milan on Friday, and he hoped it would end the gas dispute between the two countries,” AFP reported yesterday.

ECONOMY

Hungarian food producers to show at international food exhibition in Paris

Hungarian food producers will be showing their products at one of the world's most prestigious international food exhibitions, the Global Food Marketplace (SIAL) in Paris, to be held on October 19-23, state tourism agency Magyar Turizmus (MT) said in its newsletter.

ECONOMY

Szijjártó confirms EU, NATO commitments

Hungary is a member of the European Union and NATO and this clearly indicates where its commitments lie, the foreign minister said in an interview published by daily Magyar Nemzet on Saturday.

POLITICS

Goodfriend: Corruption a growing problem here

André Goodfriend, Charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy, said in a local TV interview yesterday that the Hungarian government already knows the names of Hungarian officials who are officially denied entry into the U.S. He also told ATV that corruption is a growing problem in Hungary, and cited national tobacco store concessions as an example.

BUSINESS

Grand Casino opens in Debrecen

The Grand Casino was opened at the Debrecen (located in eastern Hungary) shopping center on Friday through investment of HUF 750 mln by Aranybónusz 2000 Kft., which won the concession right for ten years, Hungarian news agency MTI reported on Saturday. The concession right can be extended for another five years.

ECONOMY

PM: Draft 2015 budget to be revealed today

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s 2015 draft budget, which he will present to Parliament for approval today, contains figures aimed at reducing the state budget deficit to below 3% of GDP, according to Reuters.

BUSINESS

Hungary to hold startup competition for the first time

Get in the Ring, an initiative started by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in 2009 with the aim of putting promising entrepreneurs from around the world in contact with investors, is scheduled to organize an event in Budapest for the first time on October 22.

expert opinion

Controlling Brazil’s Amazonian deforestation