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Csányi: Politicization of forex debt unwarranted

OTP Bank chairman/CEO Sándor Csányi told the Hungarian edition of Forbes magazine in an interview to be published today that the focus of politics on the issue of foreign-currency debt in Hungary is unwarranted.

Csányi said in the interview, excerpts of which the Hungarian edition of Forbes sent to national news service MTI on Wednesday, that political discourse surrounding the issue of forex-based debt has undermined the willingness to repay such debt among Hungarians.

“Part of the problem is that as a result of government communication the number of non-paying debtors has risen who have a problem not with the ability to repay, but with the willingness to repay. Many are awaiting more and more help, thus one in five are not paying installments on foreign-currency loans,” Csányi said.

With regard to the government's transformation of Hungary's system of savings cooperatives, Csányi stated “There is only one thing that surprises even me -- the limitation on the right to ownership.”

Csányi, who also serves as the deputy chairman of the board of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, said that it is not the company's fundamental intention to sell its 49.1% stake in Croatian peer INA. Csányi added that if MOL sees no other option than to part with its stake in its Croatian peer, it would offer to sell it to a third party only if the government of Croatia, which owns 44.84% of INA, is not interested in purchasing the stake.