Hungary's Eximbank moves to spur exports

MNB

Speaking in an interview with Dow Jones news agency, head of Hungary's Export-Import Bank Roland Nátrán said the state-owned bank aims to play a role in spurring the country's flagging economy in part by issuing new bonds to help finance lending to Hungary's exporting businesses. Dow Jones notes that the National Bank of Hungary announced plans in April to offer cheap forint financing to retail banks as a way of encouraging them to boost corporate lending. In a similar move, the government has mandated Eximbank to provide cheap foreign-currency financing to companies to revitalize exports. The two programs are complementary as Eximbank lends for terms ranging from two to 10 years, while the central bank aims to swap foreign-currency loans for Hungarian forint loans maturing within a year, Roland Nátrán, Eximbank's chief executive told the Wall Street Journal. To finance new lending, Eximbank plans to issue bonds worth around $500 million, as it did in 2012, under the two-year, €2 billion program it initiated last year. The bonds will be denominated in euros or dollars as those are the currencies Eximbank lends in, Nátrán said, without giving a timetable for the debt issue. Since Eximbank must synchronize its bond issues with the Hungarian debt management agency AKK and state-owned development bank MFB, the eventual timing will also depend on their issuance plans, as well as the volume of new lending, Nátrán said.

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