Hungarian Watch Summer 2015
Hungarian Watch editions
Who will be the next banking target?
Major bank transactions ahead
This year was extremely hectic in the Hungarian banking industry. The long promised structural changes of the Hungarian banking industry was finally realized. The Hungarian state wants to sell Budapest Bank and MKB Bank within one year. The Hungarian state also announced that it wants to purchase 15% of the stake of Erste. Moreover, the sale of Citi and AXA is already under way, but it still may not be too late for potential buyers to step in. Finally, market rumors suggest that Sberbank will exit Hungary. Overall, the Hungarian banking landscape may significantly change in the near future, so it is worthwhile for investors to keep a close eye on the upcoming developments.
Key players may enter the Hungarian gas wholesale market
Golden opportunity for the Hungarian gas market
Hungary might open its gas wholesale market to all investors, if the Hungarian-Russian long term contract on the gas transit is not extended beyond 2015. The expiration of this contract may give an opportunity for a more competitive market. Key gas players such as E.ON, RWE, ENI, GDF Suez may step into the exceptional gas wholesale market. The ball is in the court of the Hungarian government.
Binding Corporate Rules coming to Hungary
Hungarian businesses will be integrated into global data transfers
The Hungarian Parliament has finally adopted Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) serving as an adequate policy for global data transfers within the same corporate groups. Whilst international companies already using BCR in other member states will be able to extend their scope to Hungary, companies with Hungarian headquarters will be able to introduce BCR for global data transfers. The professional circles welcome this decision as global data transfers will finally become more accessible and flexible for businesses in Hungary. As the BCR will be subject to Hungarian authorization, Hungarian lawyers expect new challenges in the data protection practice.
Hungary adopted more flexible rules on portfolio transfers
New chance for the Hungarian financial industry
The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted the amendment of the Banking Act which provides more flexible rules on portfolio transfers. These rules shall make the operation of banks easier, as it overrides the rigid rules of the Civil Code which in general requires the borrower to agree to the transfer and also terminates the security interest unless, the security provider agrees as well. Overall, this might be a first step in creating more efficient and swifter financing scheme in the financial industry.
Might Hungary become the next Silicon Valley?
Brain Bar brought brilliant minds to Budapest
Why isn’t there any Silicon Valleys in Europe? What will an ideal school be like in 2025? Will we trust applications or doctors? What will the role of the state be after the new industrial revolution? How will the relationship between technology and religion develop? – these were some of the key questions in the discussions and presentations of brilliant minds, like Philip Zimbardo, Niall Ferguson, Steve Fuller and Richard Florida in the Brain Bar, at a new ‘inspiration festival’ in Budapest with the depiction of global future. Brain Bar may make Budapest an innovative hub where creative ideas and great investment opportunities could be developed.
Hungarian success at the Cannes Film Festival
Son of Saul, a Holocaust drama won the Grand Prix
The Hungarian movie “Son of Saul”, László Nemes’s debut feature was a global success. It was awarded with the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. The great honour is merited by depicting a difficult topic, with an unique narrative technique. This is the first Hungarian film that won the prestigious Cannes Film Festival’s second most important prize. It is also the most significant award that a Hungarian movie received in the past three decades.