Hungary and EBRD seek to buy 15-percent stakes in Erste Bank; Hungary to cut bank tax in 2016

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Hungary's prime minister says his country and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are each seeking to acquire 15-percent stakes in the Hungarian affiliate of Austria's Erste Bank.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary wanted to acquire the same size stake as the EBRD "as long as we can agree on a price."

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Orban also announced Monday that Hungary's special tax on banks will be cut next year by around 60 billion forints ($221 million), a 40 percent drop on 2015, when the tax is expected to generate revenues of around 144 billion forints ($530 million).

Erste Bank chairman Andreas Treichl said his bank was interested in buying Citibank's business in the Czech Republic and Hungary. Citibank is selling its consumer branches in both countries.