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Hungary to trim real estate portfolio, offers 75 properties

Hungary's government is offering 75 of its mostly unused properties for sale, as the government looks to trim the budget deficit in part by saving on costs to maintain some real estate.

The government's property agency is selling 489,248 square meters (5.4 million square feet) of buildings on 1.6 million square meters of land, it said on its Web site. They are mostly former military, health care and education buildings, some of them in upscale neighborhoods. Hungary sold most of its state-owned companies from OTP Bank Nyrt to Magyar Telekom Nyrt in the 1990s. Many of the properties now being offered were emptied as the government scaled back operations from communist-era levels.

They include former residences of government leaders in the luxurious Buda hills of the capital, as well as several lakefront properties by the Balaton resort and the grounds of Ferencváros, the country's most successful soccer team. The properties are worth as much as Ft 80 billion (€319 million), Napi Gazdaság, which reported the story earlier, said without citing anyone. The government has budgeted Ft 30 billion from the sales after raising Ft 35 billion last year, Napi said, citing Sándor Zelles, chief of the property agency. (Bloomberg)