Central banker and PM discuss bank holdings


Central bank governor György Matolcsy said today that the National Bank of Hungary guarantees to provide the "full liquidity" of MKB Bank, recently acquired by the state, at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who suggested that it is too early to consider merging MKB and Budapest Bank.

At the government's request, MNB is also participating in the reorganization of MKB Bank, recommending that, once it is reorganized, it should not remain under state ownership, Matolcsy said, adding that to expedite the reorganization, the state has transferred ownership rights over the bank to the MNB.

The MNB will not recapitalize MKB Bank, rather it will clean up its portfolio, the central banker said, adding that in line with EU rules transcribed into domestic law, the MNB is planning to manage MKB Bank "temporarily (foreseen to be a maximum of one year)". The MNB will inform the respective European authorities as well as the European Central Bank of its planned steps, the statement added.

Asked about possible plans to merge MKB Bank and Budapest Bank, Orbán said the acquisition was taking "a little longer than anticipated", but would wind up around May or June. Thus the government will be in a position to hear Matolcsy's recommendation on whether to merge the banks or keep them separate around mid-year, he added.


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