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Hungary: FinMin does not plan sale for free

The government will not sell state property for free, the new ownership program must run in harmony with the balance of the convergence program, Finance Minister János Veres said at the government spokesperson’s briefing.

Veres did not deny, that the Hungarian Electricity Works or MVM Zrt and gambling company Szerencsejáték Zrt may be among the companies that can be offered for sale in the new ownership program. The government will decide by March 31, which companies will be selected and the first shares may be sold already this year, Veres said. The government wants to select firms that could go to the stock exchange and that could be a profitable investment for small investors in the short and medium run, Veres said. Currently there are 106 companies, where the Hungarian state is majority owner, out of these 70 are fully state-owned. The new ownership program, which was proposed by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány on Monday, is only available to Hungarian citizens and those EU citizens who have permanent residence in Hungary. (Gazdasági Rádió)