Budapest, March 10 (MTI) – The National Bank of Hungary on Tuesday said it partially suspended the operating licence of Quaestor Securities Trading and Investment Company because of irregularities discovered during an audit.
The NBH could put an oversight commissioner in charge of the company on Tuesday, pending a decision by the Financial Stability Council, the central bank and financial market regulator said.
Quaestor may not take new client orders, but an oversight commissioner could close open positions in the interest of clients, the NBH said. While the oversight measures are in force, clients’ right of disposal over their securities and financial assets will be suspended in the interest of clearing up the irregularities, it added.
The NBH has informed Hungary’s investigation authority on the matter.
Hungary’s Quaestor Financial Hrurira, a member of the Quaestor Group, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as clients panicked by the Buda-Cash scandal raced to sell their securities.
Quaestor Financial Hrurira, which has no connection to the Buda-Cash scandal, said the decision was of a technical nature, giving it time to find a solution in the best interest of securities holders. Quaestor said the panic caused by the scandal had made normal operation of the market impossible and made a plea for state intervention.
The NBH recently revoked the licence of brokerage Buda-Cash and a number of banks with which it has ties.
Quaestor Financial Hrurira had total assets of 47.2 billion forints (EUR 155m) at the end of 2013. Liabilities on bonds issued by the company came to 44.5 billion forints.
The Quaestor group, including Quaestor Financial Hrurira parent Quaestor Penzugyi Tanacsado, has more than 200,000 clients and employs more than 600 people.
The foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it had terminated all contracts with companies connected with the chief executive officer of the Quaestor Group. These include the contracts for the operation of Hungary’s trading house in Istanbul and its visa centre in Moscow.