Eurostat maintains reservations over accounting of Magyar Eximbank

MNB

Eurostat continues to have reservations about the way Hungary classifies Magyar Eximbank in its national accounts statistics, the European Unionʼs statistical office said in a news release on Monday, as reported by Hungarian news agency MTI.

"Eurostat is maintaining the reservation on the quality of the data reported by Hungary in relation to the sector classification of Eximbank," the statistical office said, adding that it "considers that Eximbank should be reclassified inside the general government sector, which will result in an increase in government debt."

Eurostat added that it is discussing with the Hungarian statistics authorities "the possible rerouting of operations" carried out by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) and its foundations "deemed to be undertaken on behalf of the government," as well as the "reclassification inside the general government sector" of certain entities such as the National Deposit Insurance Fund (OBA), National Resolution Fund, and Hungarian Restructuring and Debt Management Company (MARK).

Eurostat mentioned its reservations in a release compiling government deficit and debt data based on notifications from member states. Reservations about the quality of data were also noted in the releases for Luxembourg and Belgium.

A year ago, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga acknowledged a "professional dispute" with Eurostat over how to account the loans of the state-owned Magyar Eximbank that could impact Hungaryʼs level of state debt, but said then that "weʼll weigh the possibilities when a decision is taken," and "first of all, itʼs worth concentrating on consultations."

Hungaryʼs state debt stood at HUF 25.922 trillion, or 74.1% of GDP, at the end of last year, the Eurostat release shows.

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