The Hungarian OTP Bank issued USD bonds for the second time this year. But the bank is still on Ukraine’s list of war sponsors.
According to portfolio.hu, OTP issued USD bonds worth 500,000 dollars. The main organizers of the transaction were BNP, JP Morgan Morgan Stanley, Societe General, and OTP Global Markets. Among the investors, there were the EBRD and the IFC.
The Hungarian government will not grant its approval to the next tranche of the European Peace Facility to Ukraine unless Hungary’s OTP bank is removed from Ukraine’s list of war sponsors, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Vienna on Wednesday. For the same reason as well as because of restrictions concerning Chinese investments the government will not support any further sanctions against Russia, Szijjártó added. Following a working lunch with Alexander Schallenberg, his Austrian counterpart, Szijjártó said “further, serious proposals have been tabled in Brussels, expecting European people to take further sacrifices while they would not bring peace a centimetre closer”.
Szijjártó said the EU’s planned eleventh package of sanctions was “fully contrary to commonsense”, and insisted that the previous ten had failed. He raised serious concern about the EU’s mulling measures against eight Chinese companies which could “certainly aggravate or even thwart” ties with China, and could “lead to a certain negative spiral of reactions”. Since we have “practically severed ties of cooperation between the EU and Russia one by one, we would consider it extremely harmful … if the same happened to Europe-China ties,” he said. He added that Europe would “certainly lose” on rivalry with China and called for cooperation instead. “Hungary is an excellent example of how much could be benefitted from a civilised cooperation with China,” he said.
Concerning the proposal to use another 500 million euros from the EPF on the delivery of weapons for Ukraine, Szijjártó said it would “mostly increase the risk of escalation”. “They expect us to endure further economic damage while Ukraine is becoming more and more hostile with Hungary, taking hostile decisions and measures including serious threats voiced in recent days,” the minister said. For example, Szijjártó said schools of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia would “cease to exist in their current form” as of September. “We have signalled the problem at all forums of decision making … and with a few exceptions the international institutions and players of international politics turn a blind eye to it,” he said. Ukraine’s including OTP in a list of war sponsors is “scandalous, unacceptable”, Szijjártó said, and suggested that the bank had not violated any rules. He also referred to press reports suggesting that the Ukrainian president had proposed sabotaging the Druzhba oil pipeline, and called a “clear attack against Hungary’s sovereignty”.
Szijjártó inaugurates expansion of logistics centre in NE Hungary
Hungary’s role is growing stronger in east-west transit routes, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said at the inauguration of the expansion of a logistics centre in Kisvarda, in northeast Hungary, on Thursday. Hungarian family-owned company Transit-Speed invested 3.8 billion forints (EUR 10.3m) to build two new warehouses. The investment was supported by a 1.4 billion government grant, Szijjártó said. The ivestment will create 20 new jobs and will expand capacity to fill 200 trucks a day with grain arriving by train from Ukraine, Szijjártó said. It will bolster transports to struggling African and Middle Eastern countries, and “contribute to prevent a food crisis and thereby further migrant waves,” he said.
Later on Thursday, Szijjártó inaugurated an industrial park in Kemecse, in northeast Hungary. The park was constructed with 1.2 billion forint (EUR 3.2m) support from government and European Union funds, Szijjártó said. Similar investments are key to drawing foreign companies to Hungary, by offering ideal circumstances for moving here, he said. The Kemecse Industrial Park is situated near “a modern automotive centre being constructed around Debrecen and Nyiregyhaza, unique in European and even in global comparison.” Talks are ongoing with companies interested in the park, in an effort to shorten supply lines, “a lesson interested parties have learned from the times of the coronavirus pandemic,” Szijjártó said.