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State takes over direct ownership of Eximbank, Mehib

Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that allows the national economy minister to exercise ownership rights over the Hungarian Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Hungarian Export Credit Insurance Company (Mehib). The bill was passed using an extraordinary urgent debate process that was approved in amendments to house rules last December. It was the first time the process, which allows bills to be approved in as few as two days, was used. Eximbank and Mehib were wholly state-owned before the bill was passed too, but 75% of their shares were held by the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank. These shares will now be directly state-owned and National Economy Minister György Matolcsy, who submitted the bill, will exercise ownership rights over the lenders. The shares will be transferred without any service in kind. Matolcsy justified the bill citing the government's foreign trade and investment strategy and adding that the state's indirect ownership in the Eximbank and Mehib was an unnecessary complication. The legislation will take effect when it is published.