Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, Slovenia to the west, Austria to the northwest, and Ukraine to the northeast. The country's capital and largest city are Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and the Schengen Area. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe.
The move tightens the Hungarian government’s grip on the banking sector which has suffered crippling losses since the 2008 financial crisis. The government introduced a tax on the banking sector following the financial crisis to help it reduce fiscal deficits and meet EU budget targets. The National Bank of Hungary suspended the license of brokerage Quaestor on March 10, saying it has sold some 150 billion forints ($542.6 million) worth of bonds beyond what was permitted under its issuance program. It was the third Hungarian brokerage to run into trouble within weeks due to suspected fraudulent activities, adding up to one of Hungary's biggest financial scandals for decades. Hungary’s bank tax has generated 843bn forints ($3.1bn) since it was introduced as a temporary measure in September 2010. In the same year, the government effectively nationalized more than $12bn of private pension funds and applied sectorial taxes to energy, telecommunications, and retail companies. Soon afterward, foreign banks cut borrowing as defaults on foreign currency loans spiraled during the financial crisis.
|Agriculture||Corn, wheat, barely, oat, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, poppy & sunflower.|
|Manufacture||Pharmaceuticals, automotive, electronics, textile & IT services.|
|Services (Including financial)||68.7% (2013 estimate)|
|Hungarian National Bank||Banking|
The Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) is one of the most important markets by market capitalization and liquidity in Central and Eastern Europe. Located at 7 Liberty Square, Budapest, Hungary, in the downtown and within the central business district known as District V. Previously (from 1864) it was in the Budapest Stock Exchange landmark building until a large trading floor was necessary. The BSE is owned and operated by listed issuers on the exchange, furthermore Hungarian private banks and companies and by the Hungarian National Bank. The Budapest Stock Exchange accounts for all the turnover in the Hungarian market and a large share of the Central and Eastern European market. In 2007, the Budapest Stock Exchange agreed to move to abolish floor trading and completed this transition years ago. Today, trading takes place exclusively via the Xetra system, with redundant floor brokers taking on the role of market-makers. The Xetra system consists of Budapest Stock Exchange and 14 international exchanges, among others Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Vienna Stock Exchange, and Shanghai Stock Exchange. The BSE is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges. The trading indices in Budapest are BUX, BUMIX, and Central European Blue Chip Index.
On 27 October 2008, Hungary reached an agreement with the IMF and EU for a rescue package of US$25 billion, aiming to restore financial stability and investors' confidence. Because of the uncertainty of the crisis, banks gave fewer loans which led to a decrease in investment. This along with price-awareness and fear of bankruptcy led to a fallback in consumption which then increased job losses and decreased consumption even further. Inflation did not rise significantly, but real wages decreased.
The fact that the euro and the Swiss franc are worth a lot more in forints than they were before affected a lot of people. According to The Daily Telegraph, " statistics show that more than 60 percent of Hungarian mortgages and car loans are denominated in foreign currencies" After the election in 2010 of the new Fidesz-party government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungarian banks were forced to allow the conversion of foreign-currency mortgages to the forint. The new government also nationalized $13 billion of private pension-fund assets, which could then be used to support the government debt position. Declining exports, reduced domestic consumption and fixed asset accumulation hit Hungary hard during the financial crisis of 2008, making the country enter a severe recession of -6.4%, one of the worst economic contractions in its history.
But the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany fell prey to the economic recession that began in the fourth quarter of 2008. Amid public outcry in March 2009, he resigned, over the government’s controversial handling of the economic crisis. Gordon Bajnai was appointed by the ruling Socialist Party, until the general elections in April 2010. The election outcome resulted in a major political upheaval, with Hungary’s conservative opposition party, Fidesz, ousting the ruling Socialists. Fidesz leader Viktor Orban is set to take over the reins as the next Prime Minister, marking the end of the eight-year reign of the Socialists.
Following centuries of successive habitation by Celts, Romans, Huns, Slavs, Gepids, and Avars, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Arpad in the Honfoglalás ("homeland-conquest"). His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000 CE, converting the country to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 and about 150 years of partial Ottoman occupation (1541–1699), Hungary came under Habsburg rule, and later formed a significant part of the Austro–Hungarian Empire (1867–1918). Hungary's current borders were first established by the Treaty of Trianon (1920) after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary came under the influence of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship (1947–1989). The country gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary again became a democratic parliamentary republic, and today has a high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index. Hungary is a popular tourist destination attracting 10.675 million tourists a year (2013). It is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second-largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (the Hortobágy National Park).
The forint (HUF) is the currency of Hungary. It is divided into 100 fillér, although fillér coins are no longer in circulation. The introduction of the forint on 1 August 1946 was a crucial step of the post-WWII stabilization of the Hungarian economy, and the currency remained relatively stable until the 1980s. Transition to a market economy in the early 1990s deteriorated the value of the forint, inflation peaked at 35% in 1991. Since 2001, inflation is a single digit and the forint was declared fully convertible. As a member of the European Union, the long term aim of the Hungarian government may be to replace the forint with the euro but that does not appear to be likely until sometime during the 2020s. Between 1868 and 1892 the forint was the name used in Hungarian for the currency of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, known in German as the gulden or florin. It was subdivided into 100 krajczár. Historically the forint was subdivided into 100 fillér (comparable to a penny), although fillér coins have been rendered useless by inflation and have not been in circulation since 1999. (Since 2000, one forint has typically been worth about half a US cent or slightly less.) The Hungarian abbreviation for forint is Ft, which is written after the number with a space between. The name fillér, the subdivision of all Hungarian currencies since 1925, comes from the German word Heller. The abbreviation for the fillér is f, written also after the number with space in between. After its 1946 introduction, the forint remained stable for several years but started to lose its purchasing power as the state-socialist economic system lost its competitiveness during the 1970s and 1980s. After the democratic change of 1989-90, the forint saw yearly inflation figures of the app. 35% for three years, but significant market economy reforms helped stabilize it. Since the year 2000, the relatively high value of forint (especially compared to the falling US dollar and to some extent to the euro) handicaps the strongly export-oriented Hungarian industry against foreign competitors with lower valued currencies.
In 1946, coins were introduced in denominations of 2, 10, 20 fillers and 1, 2, 5 forints. The silver 5 forints was reissued only in the next year, later it was withdrawn from circulation. 5 and 50 fillérs coins were issued in 1948. In 1967, a 5-forint coin was reintroduced, followed by a 10 forint in 1971 and 20 forints in 1982. In 1992, a new series of coins was introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and (a somewhat different, 500‰ silver) 200 forint. Production of the 2 and 5 fillér coins ceased in 1992, with all fillér coins withdrawn from circulation by 1999. From 1996, a bicolor 100-forint coin was minted to replace the 1992 version, since the latter was considered too big and ugly, and could be easily mistaken for the 20-forint coin. Silver 200 forint coins were withdrawn in 1998 (due to their nominal value getting too low compared to their precious metal content), the 1 and 2 forint coins remained in circulation until 29 February 2008. The sum of total purchases is rounded to the nearest 5 forints (to 0 or to 5) when paid with cash. A new 200-forint coin made of the base metal alloy was introduced in place of the 200-forint bank note on 15 June 2009.
In 1946, 10 and 100 forint notes were introduced by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungarian National Bank). A new series of higher quality banknotes (10, 20 and 100 forints) was introduced in 1947-48. 50 forint notes were added in 1953, 500 forint notes were introduced in 1970, followed by 1000 forint in 1983, 5000 forint in 1991. A completely redesigned new series of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000 and 20 000 forints was introduced gradually between 1997 and 2001. Each banknote depicts a famous Hungarian leader or politician on the obverse and a place or event related to him on the reverse. All the banknotes are watermarked, contain an embedded vertical security strip and suitable for the visually impaired people. The 1000 forint and higher denominations are protected by an interwoven holographic security strip. The notes share the common size of 154 × 70 mm. The banknotes are printed by the Hungarian Banknote Printing Corp. in Budapest on the paper manufactured by the Diósgy?r Papermill in Miskolc. Commemorative banknotes were also issued recently: 1000 and 2000 forint notes to commemorate the millennium (in 2000) and 500 forint note to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution (in 2006). Forgery of forint banknotes is not significant. However, forged 20 000 forint notes printed on the paper of 2000 forint notes after dissolving the original ink might come up and are not easy to recognize. Another denomination preferred by counterfeiters was the 1000 forint note until improved security features were added in 2006.
|Currency||Hungarian forint (HUF)|
|GDP||270.285 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||2.9 Percent|
|GDP Per Capita||$27481.793 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Other Or Unknown 5.8%
President – János Áder
Prime Minister – Viktor Orbán
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||74.197 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||5.168 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|