Hungarian state to buy Budapest Bank from GE

History

The Hungarian government has signed a preliminary deal to buy Budapest Bank from its 100%-owner General Electric by June 30. Economy Minister Mihály Varga said Thursday said the price of the eighth-largest bank in Hungary by total assets would be revealed later.

The move comes as the government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán tries to increase domestic ownership in the banking sector. In July, Hungary paid €55 million ($68 million) to Germany’s Bayerische Landesbank for a 99.9% stake in MKB

The buyer will be Corvinus Nemzetközi Befektetési and the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB Zrt) will ensure funding for the acquisition, he added. Varga said that with the latest purchase, the government wants to boost lending and increase competition among banks and “put Hungary’s economic growth on more stable footing.”

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