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Orbán: FHB’s exclusion of state from capital increase is ‘hostile’

FHB Bank’s decision to exclude the Hungarian state from a capital increase in the bank is an “unfriendly, even hostile step, a mistake the bank must correct”, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reportedly said this morning.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the studio this morning. (Photo: MTI/Noémi Bruzák)

During his regular fortnightly interview with state-owned Kossuth radio, the first for this year, the prime minister said the stateʼs stake in FHB Bank “may not be reduced”, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Acting on a mandate from shareholders, the bank’s board raised capital at the end of December, without providing pre-emption rights for existing shareholders on newly issued shares, acting under a resolution approved more than a year and a half before, MTI reported. The state held 7.32% of FHBʼs shares before the capital increase, but the new capital would dilute that share.

Late Thursday, FHB Bank said its board decided to offer newly issued shares to the National Asset Management Company (MNV) in a separate private placement, MTI said.