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Central bank governor Simor to be questioned on his offshore investment

Parliament's Audit and Budget Committee will ask National Bank of Hungary governor András Simor to produce documents proving that he sold his Cyprus-based company and repatriated -- as well as paid taxes on -- some HUF 900m in assets.

The committee is asking Simor to produce the documents by the end of October.

More than a year earlier, after winning a landslide victory in general elections, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the central bank should not be a "shelter for offshore knights".

Simor acknowledged he had owned a company registered in Cyprus to invest revenue generated abroad before his appointment as central bank governor.

"The company never received any transfers from Hungary, nor did it have any Hungarian clients. Three years ago, when I was appointed, I made a public declaration on my share in the business," Simor said in the statement.

Simor said he sold the company upon his appointment and put the proceeds into Hungarian investment funds in order to "save the National Bank of Hungary from becoming the target of unfounded political attacks".

Simor was appointed central bank governor in 2007 and his mandate runs until 2013.

Simor told the Audit and Budget Committee on Tuesday that the cessation of his ownership in the Cyprus-based company had been made clear in asset declarations in 2009 and 2010. He added that ordering a review of his private assets was outside of the scope of the committee's power.