ADVERTISEMENT

Hungary’s FHB Bank snapped up by over twenty investors

Deals

Hungarian Finance Minister János Veres on Friday said that the 50% stake in FHB Bank the state sold in a surprise move was taken up by over two dozen buyers.

Hungary’s privatization agency on Thursday said it hold sold 33 million shares in the bank for Ft 2,025 ($10.85) per share. The sale surprised market players, who had expected a tendering process. The minister said the bank had generated revenue of Ft 80 billion ($428 million) in the two-phase privatization after investing Ft 8 billion in the bank over the last ten years.

Veres said that none of the buyers held more than 5% of the bank’s shares: “We probed strategic investors early summer, including on the price, and they were only willing to pay significantly less." Sources familiar with the transaction said strategic investors were not interested because German insurer Allianz, which owns 9.9% of FHB, holds two-thirds of preference shares, which essentially guarantees it veto power. Sources told Reuters that Allianz was approached but declined to sell the stake and also would not pay the price the government had asked.

The unexpectedly rapid sale caught some investors off-guard as the government earlier said it preferred to sell to a strategic investor in order to  maximize price and ensure FHB maintained its credit rating. But on Friday, CEO Daniel Gyuris said the bank’s ratings were not in danger, despite the company’s free float rising to 88%. An initial opinion from ratings agency Moody’s prior to the transaction also supported this view. (m&c.com, reuters.com)

ADVERTISEMENT

IMF raises Hungary 2021 GDP growth forecast to 7.6% Analysis

IMF raises Hungary 2021 GDP growth forecast to 7.6%

Parliament approves amendment to Competition Act Parliament

Parliament approves amendment to Competition Act

New CEO announced at Codic Hungary Appointments

New CEO announced at Codic Hungary

Budapest bike-sharing scheme boasts record ridership City

Budapest bike-sharing scheme boasts record ridership

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.