PM Viktor Orbán’s cabinet would like to start negotiations to “reverse” the “failed” privatisation of Budapest Airport. He would like to buy it back for the state because it is one of the most important elements of developing the economy and tourism.
According to the pro-government daily, Magyar Nemzet, the Hungarian government aims to obtain majority holding over Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport. The airport is currently run by Budapest Airport, which Ferenc Gyurcsány’s government sold in 2005 to ease the budget crisis.
The 75-year-long concession contract provided strong protection for the investors.
For example, all income from airport services belong to them, Magyar Nemzet says. The share of the state from the airport’s revenue is only 0.5 pc.
The government tried to buy the majority holding of Budapest Airport after 2010 several times, but they were not successful. In 2011,
the state utilised its purchase option over a 25 pc share segment.
According to Magyar Nemzet, the profit-oriented capital funds that own the majority of Budapest Airport’s stocks might be interested in selling their packages since the traffic at the airport decreased significantly because of the epidemic. In 2019, there were 16 million passengers, while this number was only 3.8 million in 2020.
Based on some sources,
László Palkovics, the leader of the Ministry for Innovation, received the task to arrange the transaction.
Meanwhile, some Hungarian companies would also like to buy Budapest Airport, Magyar Nemzet reported in October. One of them is Dániel Jellinek, who bought 1/8th of Belgrade’s office stock a couple of days before. The leader of the Indotek Group then said that he was in talks with the current owners, but, of course, he did not share further details.
Budapest Airport now has three foreign owners: a state-owned Singaporean investment fund, a Canadian pension fund, and a Canadian company.