Budapest (MTI) – See below MTI’s main business and financial news from the previous week:
India’s Apollo Tyres inaugurated a 475 million euro plant in Gyöngyöshalász, northern Hungary. The plant, Apollo Tyres’ second in Europe, is expected to turn out 2 million tyres this year, but ramp up output to full capacity by the autumn of 2018. The plant can produce 5.5 million tyres for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and 675,000 tyres for buses and heavy commercial vehicles a year. Read more HERE.
Czech energy group CEZ parted with a 7.4 percent stake in Hungarian oil and gas company MOL for 141.1 billion forints (EUR 455m) in an equity placement. It used the proceeds of the sale to buy back bonds exchangeable for MOL shares with principal of 468.6 million euros.
Hungary’s seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 56.0 points in March from 59.4 in February, the Hungarian Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management (Halpim), which compiles the index, said. An index value above 50 shows expansion in the manufacturing sector, while a value under 50 signals contraction.
Hungary’s industrial output rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in February, slowing from 6.5 percent in January, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said. February growth was 7 percent when adjusted for the number of workdays in the base period, which was a leap year.
US-based Dana laid the cornerstone of a 46 million euro gear plant in Győr, northwest Hungary. Dana’s local unit already has three plants in Győr, employing about 600 people. The fourth plant will employ about 200 people. Read more HERE.
China’s BYD on Tuesday opened a 6.2 billion forint (EUR 20m) electric bus plant in Komárom (NW Hungary). The plant will turn out 400 vehicles a year which will be delivered to big cities in Europe. The plant, which created 300 jobs, was supported with a 925 million forint government grant. Read more HERE.
Retail sales in Hungary rose 1.0 percent year-on-year in February, the slowest rate in several years, data released by KSH showed. KSH noted that the slowdown was in part due to a high base.
Hungarian low-fare airline Wizz Air targets a 22 percent increase in passenger numbers on its Budapest flights this year, CEO Jozsef Varadi said. Last year’s passenger numbers on Wizz Air’s Budapest flights climbed 23 percent to 3.7 million, he added.
Parliament approved amendments to the act on higher education that will require foreign colleges and universities in Hungary to operate on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement and to have a campus in the country in which they are based. The Central European University (CEU), which is accredited in the United States but has just one campus, in Budapest, earlier said the changes to the law would make its continued operation in Budapest “impossible”. The CEU called the proposed legislation “discriminatory” and said that it “targets CEU directly”.
The National Bank of Hungary’s Funding for Growth Scheme, which financed cheap credit for microbusinesses and SMEs, wound up at the end of March. Since the FGS’s launch in June 2013, some 39,253 businesses have tapped 2.811 trillion forints (EUR 9.1bn) of the credit, contributing to a two-percentage-point increase in GDP growth in 2013-2016.