The Hungarian Government issued a new decree on 25 May 2020 (“Decree”), in which restrictions on certain transactions involving foreign investors are introduced.
In Hungary, the defense against the epidemic has entered into a phase in which measures set out by the government for reducing or preventing the spread of the epidemic are gradually relaxed. The curfew has been lifted, all stores may open and may be visited by customers under certain conditions. However, the rules for maintaining social distance - keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, wearing mask, scarf or shawl when shopping or traveling by public transport - still apply.
The coronavirus pandemic has been affecting both domestic and international trade and commerce around the world. States have reacted with robust mitigation measures, including closing borders, implementing a range of travel bans and engaging a myriad of internal domestic health and wellbeing procedures. These measures are causing unprecedented disruption to the trade, transport, labor market, production and supply chains.
On 25 May 2020, the Government of Hungary adopted a new decree on the screening of foreign investments in Hungary (the "Decree"). The new screening regime aims to protect public security, order and health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and introduced a new approval requirement for investments into certain Hungarian companies. The screening will be carried out by the Minister of National Economy (the "Minister"). The Decree entered into force on 26 May 2020 while leaving the earlier FDI screening mechanism unaffected (see our earlier FDI screening article). As a result, two parallel FDI screening mechanisms now apply in Hungary.
In recent years, and for multiple reasons, cyber-attacks against healthcare providers have increased significantly on a global level. First, IT platforms and devices used by healthcare providers have a technical diversity, while sources devoted to an integrated cybersecurity system for these IT platforms are often limited, making the IT systems vulnerable and ideal targets of potential cyber-attacks. Second, health data qualifies as “highly sensitive data,” which is considered very valuable on the black market compared to other types of personal data.
The Hungarian banking sector enjoyed a banner year in 2019, but still faces challenges. Legislative changes are creating more aggressive competition between banks, which in turn are cutting fees and demanding flexible financing structures in order to survive. Although some banks are unwilling to take part in these practices, one thing is certain: All banks must adapt to the new regulatory environment. I’ve outlined some of the major challenges that Hungarian banks face in the near future.
On December 27, 2019, several amendments made to the Hungarian capital markets act by the Hungarian Parliament to adhere to the relevant rules of the European Union be-came effective, also making it easier for Hungarian companies to issue bonds under the Bond Funding for Growth Scheme (BGS) by introducing more lenient information and publication rules for issuances.
On September 20 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that BLS had advised Pannonia Bio Zrt. – a company operating a biorefinery in Tolna County, Hungary, that is the largest ethanol plant in Europe – and that CMS Hungary had advised OTP Bank Plc. on Pannonia Bio’s issuance of the first Hungarian forint bond in line with the Central Bank of Hungary’s Bond Funding for Growth Scheme.
Sounds frightening, huh? When I first encountered this expression a couple of years ago, I thought it was one of those buzzwords that had been created by accountants or other financial wizards to tackle invasively curious tax administration people. “Bottomline” also sounded familiar: that is the very last figure in your financial statements; the one that interests you the most.