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State wants to keep some shares in transferred pension fund assets

The state wants to keep some shares, especially those of companies with strategic national importance, from the assets of private pension fund members returning to the state pension pillar, National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi said in an interview with InfoRadio.

Hungarian members of private pension funds had until the end of January to opt out of a move, along with their retirement savings, back to the state pension pillar. Some of the assets will be used to finance pensions but most will be used to reduce state debt. The government said earlier that it would withdraw the government securities in the transferred assets and sell the shares gradually, to avoid influencing markets.

Fellegi told InfoRadio that a review of the assets is underway and the government is considering keeping some shares. The share of companies with strategic national importance, such as oil and gas company MOL, OTP Bank and drug maker Richter, "could get a bigger role", he added.

A final decision on the matter has not been take, Fellegi said.

Shares – including Hungarian and foreign ones – account for about 10% of the about HUF 3,100 billion in assets to be transferred to the state from the funds, data from financial market regulator PSzÁF show.