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MNB must release MKB sale information, court says

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) must release data of public interest regarding the sale of MKB Bank, after the Budapest Municipal Appellate Court yesterday decided to uphold a first-instance ruling of the Budapest Municipal Court dated October 7, according to reports.

MNBʼs appeal against the Budapest Municipal Courtʼs decision was rejected in a case involving the central bank and Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs, according to a court document dated March 9 and published on Transparency Internationalʼs site, reports say.

MKB Bank was sold to a consortium of two private equity funds, Blue Robin Investments and METIS Private Capital Fund, and Hungaryʼs Pannonia Pension Fund for HUF 37 billion in summer 2016.

The Hungarian media had on numerous occasions asked the central bank to reveal information about the sellers, as the background of them was unclear. Later a private individual filed a request for information on the ownership of MKBʼs buyers, arguing that the lendersʼ shares qualified as public assets, and should be made public, but the central bank declined to publish the information.

The Budapest court said MKBʼs shares did qualify as public assets and added that the MNB was carrying out a public task when it restructured MKB, Hungarian new agency MTI reported.