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A villa in the Buda hills | source: Google Streetview

Hungary’s central bank buys luxury villa from offshore firm

D&T
August 13, 2015

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has acquired new luxury real estate by buying a villa in one of Budapest’s most expensive 12th district via one of its foundations (Pallas Athena Geopolitical Foundation) for over HUF one billion forints back in February, and another property was bought in the Castle District of for about HUF 800 million.

The
financial website portfolio.hu quotes local daily Magyar Nemzet that –
according to the property deed obtained by the paper – the real estate
featuring the villa sprawls on 2,165 square meters and its previous owner was
Wakefield Ltd., owned by a company, Hogarth Management Ltd., registered on the
British Virgin Islands. This means the MNB foundation bought the luxury real
estate from a company with an offshore background.

The
foundation revealed to the paper that the villa was acquired for net HUF 1.038
billion and it will host the foundation’s education and scientific research
center. The foundation claims the purchase price was below the value estimated
by an expert.

The other
property, a listed building (monument) in the Castle District, was bought for
HUF 795 million and this will be turned into the headquarters of the
foundation. The now derelict property will be refurbished and the MNB will hold
educational programs and seminars there with the aim to "create the local
centre of geopolitical and geostrategic science."

Including
these assets the continuously growing real estate empire of the György
Matolcsy-led central bank already consists of nine high-value real estate,
including a hospital building and a castle hotel.

As
portfolio.hu points out, the acquisitions are not over yet. The MNB reminded
that in order to promote local training of economists the bank set up as many
as five Pallas Athena foundations, which have a total budget of HUF 160 bn in
the first phase. Additionally, they have also launched a HUF 90 bn real estate
purchase and refurbishment program, of which HUF 50 bn will be spent on actual
acquisitions and HUF 40 bn on renovations.

D&T

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