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Govʼt mandates talks on sale of Budapest Bank

The government has mandated the minister without portfolio in charge of managing state assets to conduct talks with potential buyers on the sale of the stateʼs indirect majority stake in Budapest Bank, shows a resolution published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny, as reported by state news agency MTI.

The resolution, issued "in the framework of preparing to fulfill a commitment the government made to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development," instructs the minister to "conduct talks with potential financial institutions" on the divestment of the majority stake for a consideration "equal to, or exceeding the purchase price," and to inform the government of the results. The deadline for completing the task is June 30, 2019.

The state acquired Budapest Bank from General Electric (GE) for USD 700 million in June 2015. The bank was acquired through Corvinus International Investment Ltd., a unit of the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB).

The state earlier made clear its intention to privatize Budapest Bank, but did not offer a time frame for the transaction.