Are you sure?

FinMin refuses to acknowledge validity of Malév counter-guarantee

Hungary's Finance Ministry late Thursday said it did not acknowledge the validity of a counter-guarantee signed by Hungarian national carrier Malév and its creditor, Russia's state-owned Vnesheconombank, as it goes against the airline's privatisation contract.


The Finance Ministry said it would dispute the contract in court.

Finance Minister Peter Oszko told a parliamentary committee a little more than a week earlier that a €32 million counter-guarantee Malév made to Vnesheconombank on the debt of its former majority owner AirBridge was illegal and the government had reported the case to the police.

Under Malév's privatisation contract, signed in 2007, the airline was not to have taken any commitment over HUF 50 million without the consent of the Hungarian state asset manager, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry learnt at the end of February that Russian airline tycoon Boris Abramovich, who chaired Malév's board and owned a big indirect stake in the carrier, had signed a counter-guarantee with Vnesheconombank in May 2007, just one month after the airline was privatised. Neither the state asset manager nor Malév's board were asked to approve the move, the ministry said. (MTI-ECONEWS)