Hungarian central bank confirms acquisition of Budapest bourse

By bne IntelliNews November 23, 2015

Hungary’s central bank confirmed on November 23 that it has bought a majority stake in the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), verifying earlier media reports.

The deal will be announced at a news conference scheduled for November 24, at which the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) will provide more details, reports. The title of the news conference is “Hungary's Stock Exchange once again in national ownership”.

According to reports in the local media on November 20, the MNB bought a 75% stake in BSE for HUF13.2bn (€42.5mn). Prior to the deal, the MNB held a 6.9% stake, while the majority owner was Austria's CEE Stock Exchange Group with a 50.5% stake. Austrian Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG held 18.35%.

Last month, MNB Deputy Governor Laszlo Windisch said the central bank wanted to take control of BSE and list shares of state-owned companies on the bourse in a bid to invigorate activity on the bourse that has been steadily declining over the past few years. Until now, the poor relationship between the government and the bourse virtually ruled out the floatation of state-owned companies, analysts argue. Power company MVM, gambling firm Szerencsejatek and MKB bank have been mentioned as potential IPO candidates.

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