See below main business and financial news from the previous week:
ORBÁN TRAVELS TO BEIJING FOR BELT AND ROAD FORUM
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán travelled to Beijing with a delegation of government ministers and officials to participate in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Orbán said China’s Belt and Road Initiative is “in full accordance” with the national interests of Hungary, adding that the country would not bend to “any kind of external ideological pressure” regarding its participation in the scheme. Read more HERE.
HUNGARY’S BIGGEST EVER RAILWAY PROJECT GOES TO ORBÁN’S FRIEND
Lőrinc Mészáros’s RM International Zrt received the contract in collaboration with two Chinese companies to construct the new train line from Budapest to Belgrade. In their article, index.hu point out that the government did not mention the owner of RM International Zrt in their communication. Read more details HERE.
RICHTER SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE HUF 100-PER-SHARE DIVIDEND
Shareholders of Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter approved a proposal to pay a 100 forint-per-share dividend on last year’s earnings at an annual general meeting. The dividend fund comes to 18.6 billion forints. Last year, shareholders approved a 68 forint-per-share dividend on 2017 earnings.
GIGA-INVESTMENT! CANADIANS MIGHT PURCHASE HUNGARY’S SECOND BIGGEST MILITARY AIRPORT
The Canadians made an impressive offer on a 330-hectare ex-military airport, which used to be the second biggest military airport in Hungary. The owners are leaning towards selling. Read more HERE.
TAKARÉKBANK BALANCE SHEET BALLOONS
Takarékbank, the “central bank” for Hungary’s integrated savings cooperatives, had total assets of 1,165 billion forints at the end of last year, up almost 30 percent from twelve months earlier, a report approved at a shareholders meeting showed. Takarékbank had after-tax profit of 7.7 billion forints, according to Hungarian Accounting Standards, the lender’s PR agent said. Public records show Takarékbank had consolidated losses of 12.3 billion forints in 2017.
EUROSTAT ARGUES FOR RECLASSIFYING HYDROCARBON STOCKPILING ASSOC
Eurostat said the Hungarian Association for the Stockpiling of Hydrocarbons (MSZKSZ) should be classified inside the general government in a reservation on the quality of data reported by Hungary. The reclassification would raise state debt relative to GDP by 0.3-0.4 percent in 2015-2018. Eurostat also repeated its stand that the foundations of the National Bank of Hungary should be classified inside the general government.
BUDAPEST TO INTRODUCE FLIGHT BAN FROM MIDNIGHT TO 5AM
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós announced a ban on flights in the capital between midnight and 5am from August. Fines will be levied for exceeding noise pollution thresholds and the proceeds used to soundproof homes close to Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport. Read more HERE.
MOL CEO TAPPED TO HEAD CORVINUS UNI FOUNDATION
Zsolt Hernádi, the chairman-CEO of oil and gas company MOL, was asked to head a foundation that will take over the assets and operation of Corvinus University of Budapest. Hernádi, himself an alumnus of the university, said Corvinus is already the most competitive university in Hungary, but the aim is to make it competitive in the region, and even outside of the region.
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE WORSENS, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IMPROVES
Economic research institute GKI’s combined gauge of consumer and business confidence fell 3.3 points to 2.9 in April, declining for the fourth month in a row. The business confidence index fell 5 points to 7.1. The consumer confidence index improved 1.8 points to -8.9.
REVENUE OF HUNGARIAN SPAS CLIMBS 9 PC
Revenue of Hungarian spa operators rose by 9.1 percent to 64.2 billion forints, last year, the Hungarian Spa Association said. Visitor numbers were up 2.2 percent. Read more HERE.
SZIGET FESTIVAL BUDGET OVER HUF 10 BN
Budapest’s Sziget Festival, a week-long musical extravaganza on an island in the Danube, is working with a budget of over 10 billion forints this year and will spend half a billion forints more on headliners, chief organiser Tamás Kádár said. Among the main stage acts at this year’s festival, slated for August 7-13, are Ed Sheeran, Macklemore, Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters.
EUROTRADE BREAKS GROUND FOR HUF 1.6 BN SOLAR PARK
Hungarian-owned Eurotrade launched construction of a 1.6 billion forint, 5 MW solar park in Környe (NW Hungary). Eurotrade took out a ten-year loan from Takarékbank to finance the investment.