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Ministry neither confirms nor denies talks with Esas on Malév

The National Development Ministry said it is continuing high-level, intensive talks with potential professional investors whose financial strength and long-term strategy can make possible the implementation of the long-term business policy of Hungary's national carrier.

The ministry made the statement reacting to a report by business daily Napi Gazdaság that talks between Esas Holding - the owner of Turkey's largest low-fare airline and the biggest stakeholder in Air Berlin - and the government on the purchase of a stake in Hungarian national carrier Malév started in the last weeks of 2010.

Troubled Malév was renationalized in March 2010, but Russia's state-owned Vnesheconombank still holds 5% of the airline's parent company.

The ministry said it would make an announcement after talks with the Russian side and with possible partners are closed. (MTI – Econews)