“This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” opined George Soros, the Hungarian-born American financier and philanthropist about the 2009 crisis, and he was right.
An advantageous economic environment supported a growth in investment volume in 2016, as the residential investment sector and other segments of the property market performed well. Generally, the market has become more balanced in recent years after the recession triggered by the economic crisis, both in terms of segmentation and in supply and demand.
In December 2016, the Hungarian national electronic communications regulator (the NMHH) was among the first EU national regulatory authorities to apply the new EU Regulation 2015/2120 on net neutrality (the “Regulation”), then followed that up with a similar decision in January 2017. In these decisions, the NMHH followed the strict interpretation of the Regulation proposed by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (the “BEREC”). The NMHH’s decisions are part of a wider string of test cases springing up across the EU on how the Regulation is to be interpreted.
Last year delivered some surprises in global politics and economy. It was a year of unexpected voting results, which will no doubt have a serious effect on the global legal and economic landscapes in the long term. The international, regional, and Hungarian M&A market will all be affected. The question is what comes in the year ahead.
On January 30, 2017, eight members of the In-House Advisory Panel for the 2017 GC Summit gathered at the offices of Squire Patton Boggs in Budapest for a Round Table conversation on the challenges they face and strategies they employ in dealing with external counsel. The event was moderated by Akos Mester, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs.
Laszlo Reti, now mid-way through his third term as President of the Budapest Bar Association, takes pride in the ease with which he’s managed both the Bar and his long career as the Managing Partner of the Reti, Antall and Partners Law Firm in Budapest. Both the Bar Association and his law firm, he says, change with the times. In his words, he’s “swimming with the current.”
A significant anniversary inevitably causes us to reflect upon the period gone by. The sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US started in 2007 and, after spreading to other countries, became the global financial crisis that caused the longest-lasting recession of the post-war era. This recession, in conjunction with other factors, triggered sweeping changes in the Hungarian legal market. In retrospect, clear, recognizable patterns have emerged in the ten years since then.
At the end of March 2017, the Hungarian Parliament accepted the amendment to the Building Act, which enters into force on 27 April 2017. According to the current rules, if natural persons start the construction of new buildings which do not exceed the limit of 300 sqm or the extension of existing residential buildings up to 300 sqm, the constructions works have to be carried out by a simple notification instead of a building permit.
On February 16, 2017, CEELM reported that GTC Real Estate Development had sold the Sasad Resort, an almost-completed residential project in Budapest, to Futureal, the largest real estate developer in Hungary. We reached out to Viktoria Molnar, Legal Counsel at GTC Hungary, for information about the deal.
Clifford Chance and Dentons are reporting that the EUR 650 million sale of a 265,000 square meter CEE retail portfolio by CBRE Global Investors to CPI Property Group that was initially reported in January closed on March 29, 2017, and more information has been learned about the structuring of the deal and the firms involved.