Most lucrative business opportunities go to friends of Hungarian government

People close to Hungarian government circles, whether through business or family relations, have found themselves with a number of new and lucrative business opportunities. Those most recently covered by Atlatszo.hu include a football club owner as well as the prime minister’s son-in-law.

There have been some rearrangements in the ownership structures of several businesses, specifically designed by law to generate major yields. The beneficiaries of  the changes points to the usual pattern of an inside group of individuals loyal to the reigning government.

Business magnate István Garancsi, an owner of football club Videoton FC – one of the favorite clubs of prime minister Viktor Orbán, whose personal passion for the sport has been coupled with major government investment into football – has become the majority shareholder in Mobil Adat Kft. This company is a key market player: it is the only firm able to provide the legally required technology to connect electronically all cash registers used in retail to the servers of the tax office.

The government introduced the measure with the aim of rolling back the shadow economy and pushing back untaxed trade. The related legislation mandates that only a firm that assures mobile connectivity to all three providers on the market may win the related tender and Mobil Adat happened to be that company.

Garancsi has also been busy in other areas: he acquired a stake in Market Építő Zrt, a company heavily involved in government-supported projects, such as the construction of football stadiums. He is also unusually fortunate in that his savings were not nationalized in the way many others were during the major reorganisation of the national finance system, as the offshore-based energy interest MET benefited extensively from government measures revising utility costs, such that Garancsi was able to claim massive dividend payouts.

Garancsi’s new found fortune did not mean that others in the government’s camp were left empty-handed. He bought his Mobil Adat stake from Kornél Pap, who is likely not to be having any regrets about the deal. His firm Pakor-Gasztronómia Kft operates a restaurant that seems to enjoy the patronage of state commissioned movie czar Andy Vajna, as well as István Tiborcz, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The chains also includes Tiborcuz’s brother Péter, who besides being part of the insider group, has also been recently made the head of the tax authority’s IT department.