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13th February, 2020

Soulbrain builds factory in Tatabanya

South Korean car battery manufacturer Soulbrain is investing Ft 7 billion in building an electrolyte factory in Tatabanya, Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto announced at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

The government will provide a Ft 425 million subsidy toward the project. The 4,700m2 facility will produce the liquid used in lithium batteries. Soulbrain will supply its product to local units of Korean battery makers SK Innovation and Samsung SDI.

The construction of the factory will be completed by the end of the year and production will begin next summer, chief financial officer of Soulbrain Dominic Lee underlined. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyarnemzet.hu)
13th February, 2020

BKV unions prepare for strike

Unions of the Budapest Transport Company BKV could organise a strike if the city-owned company does not increase the 8% wage hike it offered at negotiations on Wednesday, the Unified Transport Unions announced.

The unions demanded a 15% wage hike and launched an official labour dispute process after no agreement was reached in Wednesday talks. That could lead to a strike if no agreement is reached. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; hvg.hu; 444.hu; magyarnemzet.hu)
13th February, 2020

Kozgep wins state motorway bid

Kozgep has won a state contract worth Ft 43.6 billion for building the M44 motorway between Szentkiraly and Lakitelek, the EU public procurement website announced on Wednesday.

The target price for the project set by state infrastructure development company NIF was Ft 38.6 billion, Ft 5 billion lower than the bid by Kozgep.

The consortium of Domper, Subterra-Raab and Pannon-Doprastav, as well as construction companies Strabag and Swietelsky, also filed bids for the tender.

The present owner of Kozgep is Laszlo Szijj, a business partner of Lorinc Meszaros. The company was earlier owned by Lajos Simicska, a Fidesz co-founder and previously a wealthy ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Kozgep realised Ft 112 billion in revenues in 2014 but only Ft 4.8 billion in 2017 and Ft 1 billion in 2018. (index.hu; hvg.hu; nepszava.hu)
13th February, 2020

E.ON crowds out minority owners in Elmu, Emasz

Utilising opportunities offered by the capital market law, E.ON Hungaria has launched a process that will buy out all minority shareholders in electricity distributors Elmu and Emasz, the energy company announced on the stock exchange website on Wednesday.

E.ON Hungaria filed its corresponding request at the financial supervisory MNB on Wednesday.

After E.ON purchased stakes in these companies from state energy company MVM, its ownership share went to over 90%, enabling it to launch the crowd-out process.

The shares of both companies will be delivered to E.ON between February 12 and 26. The transaction is managed by brokerage Equilor. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; magyarhirlap.hu)
13th February, 2020

Solar cell subsidy conditions eased

The government eased conditions Wednesday on an EU-funded tender for establishing small capacity solar cells for SMEs after barely a fifth of the available funds were claimed since its announcement in June.

So far, 1,732 applications have been filed to obtain Ft 4.3 billion in subsidies out of the Ft 23.9 billion available. SMEs may receive Ft 1-3 million in subsidies for establishing solar cells with 5-15 kilowatt peak (kWp) capacities.

The subsidy now covers 100% of costs up to Ft 200,000 per kWp. Requirements banning conflicts of interests were cancelled while administrative requirements were also eased. (portfolio.hu)
13th February, 2020

Slovak court rules in favour of Hernadi

The Slovak Constitutional Court in Kosice declared an arrest warrant executed in Slovakia against MOL President and CEO Zsolt Hernadi to be unlawful.

The court established that the Slovak prosecutor general had not conducted a preliminary investigation in 2015 when it executed an arrest warrant against Hernadi that was issued in Croatia. The court declared that the prosecutor had violated Hernadi’s fundamental rights to due process and legal protection. The court referred the case to the prosecutor general’s office for further examination and ordered it to refund Hernadi’s costs related to the proceedings.

The Croatian prosecutor’s office brought charges against Hernadi in 2013, claiming the MOL chief executive had given a €10 million bribe to then-Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader. Both MOL and Hernadi denied the charges. (infostart.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; portfolio.hu; hirklikk.hu)

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