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Morgan Stanley to open service center in Hungary

Morgan Stanley, the world's biggest securities company by market value, will hire 450 employees at a service center it plans to open in Budapest, Economy Minister János Kóka said today in a press release.

Morgan Stanley has thought of this movement earlier this year, long before Kóka spent three days overseas. New York-based Morgan Stanley plans to open the center to assist its operations in London and New York in the areas of mortgage financing, financial controlling and information technology, the ministry said. The Budapest location is expected to open in the third quarter this year. Morgan Stanley and Hungary’s Economy Ministry declined to say how much the center will cost to open. U.S. and European companies have been increasingly moving their services centers to Hungary to benefit from labor costs lower than those in the west and the language skills of local employees. Morgan Stanley earlier this year opened an eastern European mathematical research center in Budapest late last year, employing 20. They have chosen Hungary because of the quality of the people, said Jonathan Chenevix-Trench, chairman of Morgan Stanley International. The company is impressed by the experiences they have with the mathematical research center. Hungary wants to be the top location for service centers in Europe, Kóka said today. The government plans to offer incentive packages to companies interested in moving office operations to Hungary, he added. Kóka visited the US this summer, while the government was on holiday in Balatonöszöd, saying he wanted to turn US president George W. Bush’s promises to reality regarding investors, and economic advantages, though he still has not named any foreign investors. Some were guessing Morgan Stanley, some said AIG/AUA venture capital investor. (Bloomberg, Magyar Nemzet)