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12th March, 2020

Wizz Air CEO plans downsizing



Wizz Air is planning a significant downsizing in the coming quarter, according to an internal letter sent to employees by CEO Jozsef Varadi on Tuesday, Magyar Hang reports.

Capacities will be cut by at least 20% and dismissals are scheduled in several areas.

Varadi expressed hope that Wizz Air can work at full capacity in June, except in areas hit hard by the coronavirus.

Among executives a 17% cut has already been carried out, reducing their number from 46 to 38.

All students and interns are dismissed immediately and recruitment has been stopped.

Wizz Air is also cancelling bonuses and is allowing employees to go on unpaid leave.

The airline is renegotiating its contracts with suppliers and would like to extend payment deadlines.

The company may also ask for a delay in payments for the new aircraft it has ordered.

Varadi said Wizz Air has strong liquidity due to its high amount of cash reserves, adding that this positions the airline to be a winner in the recovery following the crisis.

Experiences of the September 11, 2001 and Sars crises indicate that a difficult period can be expected for six months, he added. (magyarhang.org; napi.hu; hvg.hu; index.hu)
12th March, 2020

Banks’ profits up 8.5% in 2019



The combined net profit of Hungary’s banks came to Ft 698 billion last year, up by 8.5% from Ft 644 billion in 2018, the MNB announced on Wednesday.

Net interest totalled Ft 95 billion, up by 8%, while net fees reached Ft 142 billion, a 10.9% increase.

The return on equity fell to 13.1% from 13.4% reached in the previous year, while the return on assets dropped from 1.5% to 1.4%.

The costs-to-income ratio grew from 63.7% to 64.7%.

Total assets in the banking sector expanded by 18.2% to Ft 49.8 trillion.

Large banks realised 93.1% of the total combined profits, while medium and small banks, which have 17.7% of the consolidated total assets, made the remaining 6.9%.

Hungarian-owned banks control 59.5% of the sector’s total assets, up from 55.4% in 2018. (portfolio.hu; hvg.hu; index.hu)
12th March, 2020

Investment funds lose on crises



The coronavirus crisis combined with the oil price war has hit retail investment funds hard, Portfolio reports.

Among them is OTP Supra, the largest hedge fund available to household investment portfolios. The fund lost 14% of its value from Friday to Monday, when stock markets plummeted worldwide.

On the positive side, derivative fund Hold HTM led the list of winners over the three-day period, with a 3.8% gain, followed by OTP Sigma with 2.5% and Equilor Optimus with 2.1%. (portfolio.hu)
12th March, 2020

Mercedes issues Ft 40bn in bonds



Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary has successfully issued Ft 40.3 billion in a seven-year bond at an auction in the frame of the MNB’s bonds for growth programme, the subsidiary of the German carmaker announced on Wednesday.

The bond paying fixed annual interest of 1.5% matures on March 16, 2027.

The MNB requires at least a B+ rating from companies participating in its programme, and Mercedes has an A credit rating.

The average yield on the bond was 1.38%, the lowest to date among bonds issued in the programme. (portfolio.hu)
12th March, 2020

MNB shuts down credit firms



The MNB has withdrawn the operating licences of Credit Unio Penzugyi and Pannon Star Capital Penzugyi because the credit providing companies repeatedly failed to provide the required data to MNB, the financial supervisory announced on Wednesday.

The MNB has rejected a request from Pannon Star to supply the information by a later date.

The MNB has also ordered the liquidation of these companies and appointed the state firm Penzugyi Stabilitasi es Felszamolo as their receiver. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; hvg.hu; origo.hu)
12th March, 2020

Trading in Masterplast suspended



The Budapest Stock Exchange suspended trading in Masterplast shares on Wednesday until the end of trading on Thursday, because the construction materials manufacturer is going to make an announcement expected to influence the value of its shares.

Trading in the shares may resume after the announcement is made.

The share price dropped by 4.8% before the suspension on Wednesday, Portfolio notes. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu)


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