HungaryTrends – The week in business and finance
See below MTI’s main business and financial news from the previous week (completed with our own choices):
HUNGARY ENTERING THE EUROZONE IN 2021-2022? HOW IS IT FEASIBLE?
The long-cherished dream of thousands of Hungarians to enter the eurozone seems to be within easier reach than any time before. Although several years of hard work is still ahead of the country in order to meet all the requirements and criterion needed for the introduction of the common currency of the European Union, if Hungary has a serious political intention to strengthen its EU bonds, then the economic project can be realised in 2021-2022. Read more here.
WIZZ AIR’S EXPANSION IN EUROPE REACHES A NEW RECORD!
Wizz Air, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines and the leading low-cost carrier in Central and Eastern Europe, reveals the latest traffic statistics and reports a new passenger record in the company’s history. More than 30 million passengers were carried in the past rolling 12 month-period, as its operations across Europe were increased with 24% compared to the similar period last year. Read more here.
HUNGARY’S GREENEST PROJECT TO BE FOUND IN PÉCS
It took over six months and several rounds to choose Hungary’s greenest, most innovative projects that would win the E.On Energy Global Hungary prize. Here is a list of the most sustainable initiatives.
HUNGARIAN STORYBOOK STARTUP ON THE RISE
BOOKR Kids is a three-year-old startup that develops interactive books and apps for children as well as for publishers, schools and companies. Not only does it digitalise the tales so far only available on paper but it also offers a new format for Intellectual Property owners. This startup is revolutionising reading stories and the state’s Hiventures Risk Capital Fund has invested a sum of 1 million Euros (314 million Forints) in the idea. Read more here.
GOVERNMENT TO UNVEIL ECONOMIC STIMULUS SOON, SAYS VARGA
Economy Minister Mihály Varga said Hungary’s new government will soon roll out new economic stimulus measures. “The new government being formed will soon present a number of measures to stimulate growth and boost competitiveness. These will allow the country to better utilise its economic potential and keep economic growth above 4 percent in a stable and sustainable manner even after 2019,” Varga said in an interview published in daily Magyar Idok.
VODAFONE TO BUY UPC MAGYARORSZÁG
The UK’s Vodafone agreed to buy the operations of US-based Liberty Global in Hungary, as well as in Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic. Liberty Global’s unit in Hungary is UPC Magyarorszag. The deal must still be cleared by the European Commission.
RICHTER MARGINS IMPROVE, BUT FINANCIAL LOSS WEIGHS ON EARNINGS
Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter’s first-quarter net income fell by an annual 30 percent to 14.5 billion forints (EUR 46.1m), dragged down by financial losses even as margins improved, an earnings report showed. Revenue edged up 1 percent to 113.9 billion forints during the period. Cost of sales fell by 2 percent to 48.4 billion forints, lifting gross profit by 4 percent to 65.6 billion. Operating profit was up 6 percent at 17.7 billion. Richter booked a 2.4 billion forints net financial loss, compared to a 4.4 billion gain in the base period.
ECE TO BUILD EUR 200M SHOPPING CENTRE IN CAPITAL
German property developer ECE announced plans to build a 200 million euros shopping centre in the north of Budapest. However, a government official later said the company would have to reapply for a building permit because of modified regulations.
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE IMPROVES, CHAMBER SURVEY SHOWS
The business confidence index of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (MKIK) economic research institute GVI rose to 52.6 points in H1 from 49 in the previous half. The survey of more than 3,270 companies showed 68 percent of businesses have difficulty finding qualified labour.
HUNGARY CPI CLIMBS TO 2.3 PC IN APRIL
Consumer prices in Hungary rose by 2.3 percent year-on-year in April, accelerating from a 2 percent increase in the previous month, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. Food prices rose by 4.2 percent and the price of spirits and tobacco jumped by 6.3 percent.
EBRD raises Hungary GDP growth forecast
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised its forecast for Hungary’s GDP growth this year to 3.8 percent from 3.4 percent in a release in November. The new forecast is still under the government’s projection for 4.3 percent growth. Read more here.
SÁNDOR CSÁNYI TOPS NAPI.HU RICHEST LIST
Agribusiness magnate and banker Sándor Csányi topped news portal Napi.hu’s list of the richest Hungarians for the eighth year in a row with assets of 320 billion forints (EUR 1bn). Runner-up is the investor Lőrinc Mészáros with assets of 280 billion forints. Mészáros’s wealth has more than doubled in a year as the holding companies he controls have beefed up their portfolios.
Featured image: MTI