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Kóka announces MÁV Cargo sale

The cargo unit of state-owned railway company MÁV Zrt will be sold within one year, Economy Minister János Kóka said.

Proceeds from the sale will be spent “bailing out” the debt-ridden company, Kóka said at a press conference in Budapest today. Coach operator Volán will also be rationalized, Kóka said.
The cabinet also decided at its meeting on Wednesday to cut back routes duplicated by trains and buses and this will be largely achieved by scrapping 28 minor tracks along 942 kilometers, saving the state Ft 40 billion-Ft 50 billion each year. While over 12% of the train network is affected, only 1% of passenger revenues will be lost, he said.

MÁV Cargo operates four transport and warehouse subsidiaries and employs 3,100, according to the company's Web site. Hungary expects to further reduce MÁV's losses by 8.7%, or Ft 6.56 billion, ($29.7 million), Kóka said. The state will also sell some of MÁV's real estate and pay off Ft 130 billion to Ft 150 billion ($592 million to $683 million) of the company's debt maturing next year, Kóka said. Debt payments will not affect Hungary's deficit targets as they have been previously included in budget plans, the minister said.

MÁV and Volán will be managed by the Economy Ministry in future, Kóka said.