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Mészáros becomes richest Hungarian

Government-connected oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros tops Forbesʼ latest list of the 50 richest Hungarians with total assets amounting to HUF 381.3 billion, overtaking long-time leader Sándor Csányi, the food industry magnate and chairman and CEO of OTP Bank Group.

Mészáros (center), pictured at a football match with Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán (right).

Mészáros was "only" Hungaryʼs eighth richest person according to Forbesʼ 2018 list, with HUF 105.7 bln in assets. Mészáros has thus gained a staggering HUF 275.6 bln over the course of a year, in the process becoming the richest Hungarian yet on Forbesʼ list, the magazineʼs report notes.

"The primary source of the asset growth was the stock market, and not only due to the soaring of Mészáros stocks, but because of a series of transactions announced in February," the report says.

In 2018, a large portion of Mészárosʼ companies were integrated into investment holding company Opus Global, of which Mészáros is the majority owner. He received the price of the purchase in Opus stocks.

Mészáros, who has claimed to be smarter than Mark Zuckerberg, and said that he owes his fortune to "God, luck, and [Hungarian Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán," is followed by Csányi (HUF 317.2 bln), and György Gattyán (HUF 244.7 bln), the owner of Docler Holding Enterprise who made his fortune providing online adult content.

In fourth place is the estate of the recently deceased Sándor Demján, former chairman of real estate giant TriGránit. His heirs stand to inherit HUF 186 bln. Tibor Veres, who owns holding company Wallis, is in fifth place with assets of HUF 160.6 bln.