Budapest (MTI) – See below MTI’s main business and financial news from the previous week:
Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Hungary’s long term issuer and senior unsecured government bond ratings by one notch to Baa3 from Ba1, putting the country back in investment grade. The outlook on the rating is stable. Explaining the rationale for the ratings action, Moody’s said Hungary’s debt burden will continue to gradually decline and structural improvements will support positive growth rates, while the country’s external vulnerability has been significantly reduced. Read more here: MOODY’S PUTS HUNGARY BACK IN INVESTMENT GRADE
Hungarian oil and gas company MOL’s third-quarter net income fell 24 percent year-on-year to 68.8 billion forints as higher tax payments countered the impact of a wider margin, an earnings report showed. MOL upgraded guidance for full-year EBITDA, at current cost of supplies and adjusted for one-off effects, to 2.2 billion dollars from 2.0 billion dollars.
An earnings report showed Richter’s third-quarter net income rose by an annual 99 percent to 13.6 billion forints as financial losses narrowed. Richter chief executive Erik Bogsch revised guidance for the company’s full-year revenue, calculated in euros, to a minimal increase from an earlier projected decline of 0-5 percent.
The number of home building permits issued in Hungary in Q1-Q3 rose 148.5 percent year-on-year to 21,414, data released by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) showed. The number of home building permits issued in Budapest rose 190.3 percent to 5,383.
The European Commission said it found that a Hungarian tax on advertising gives a selective advantage to certain companies and is incompatible with European Union rules. It ordered the country to recover taxes from companies that enjoyed an unfair advantage. The National Economy Ministry said the government is committed to maintaining the ad tax rules and will defend this “innovative Hungarian initiative”. read more here: THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINDS HUNGARY AD TAX IN BREACH OF EU RULES
Austria’s Erste Group booked net income of 109.6 million euros at its business in Hungary in Q1-Q3, improving from a 46.1 million euro loss in the base period as provisions were released, an earnings report showed. Erste Bank Hungary Group released 71.0 million euros of risk provisions in Q1-Q3 after making provisions of 93.1 million euros in the base period.
Hungary’s government will broaden the range of partners it is starting to negotiate with on a reduction in payroll taxes, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said. The cut should boost Hungary’s competitiveness, bringing it to the level of the Czech Republic or Slovakia in 5-6 years, he added. related article: HUNGARY’S ECONOMY MINISTER: COMPETITIVENESS KEY CHALLENGE FOR UPCOMING YEARS
Moody’s Investors Service upgraded to B3 from Caa1 the long-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings of FHB Mortgage Bank in light of closer ownership ties with savings cooperative integrator SZHISZ. In October, FHB chairman Zoltán Spéder sold a 16.6 percent stake in the lender to two members of SZHISZ before resigning from his position.
After-tax profit of Zwack Unicum, Hungary’s most famous spirits maker, rose by 42 percent to 1.0 billion forints in the first half of its business year started April 1 as the company reined in payroll and other operating costs, an earnings report showed. Net sales revenue rose 17 percent to 6.5 billion forints, while material costs climbed at the same pace to 2.6 billion forints. Operating costs increased just 5 percent to 2.8 billion forints, lifting operating profit 41 percent to 1.3 billion forints.
New car registrations were down 2.9 percent year-on-year at 7,953 in October, the Hungarian Association of Vehicle Importers (MGE) said. New car registrations rose 21.9 percent year-on-year to 77,394 in January-October 2016.