The upper borrowing limit for participants in Hungary’s Széchenyi card programme, a state sponsored scheme that offers businesses revolving credit, will be raised to 100 million forints (EUR 326,000) for most of the scheme’s credit types, the prime minister said on Thursday.
The Hungarian government considers lending to small and medium-sized companies a matter of strategic importance, rather than one of market transactions, Viktor Orbán said at a ceremony held by KAVOSZ, which runs the scheme, marking the issuance of the 250,000th Széchenyi card.
Hungary’s economy could not exist without SMEs, Orbán argued, noting that some two million people, or 73 percent of all employed people, were employed by SMEs in 2015.
The prime minister said Hungary owed its current run of economic achievements to its own economic players rather than external factors.
The limit on the Széchenyi card was 1 million forints when it launched in 2002. It was raised to 5 million forints in 2003, 10 million in 2004 and 25 million in 2006 before being doubled to 50 million forints in 2015.
As we wrote before, Hungary’s government has raised the capital of the Széchenyi Investment Fund (SZTA), an EU-supported venture capital fund established by the state to invest in SMEs, by 8 billion forints (EUR 26.3m) and extended its run.