Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

OTP CEO Sándor Csányi sells his shares

July 24th, 2013

A liberal commentator speculates that Csányi is under pressure because he has accumulated too much power for the Prime Minister’s liking. He believes Csányi’ share sales are a warning, and the fight is not over yet.

After Sándor Csányi sold most of his shares in OTP, speculation began as to the real reasons and possible consequences. Csányi himself, who also runs a vast meat industry empire, said he needs the money to build a slaughterhouse and meat processing plant. OTP dismissed speculation by Magyar Nemzet that Csányi is seriously ill and wants to retire. The first reactions pointed out that the government was discussing a plan to bail out forex debtors that might lay a severe burden on banks. Others think it intends to build a banking network that could become a rival to OTP, by far the biggest bank at present. They think this is why the government decided to integrate the nationwide network of savings co-operatives under Takarékbank, in which it bought a decisive property share last year(See BudaPost September 18, 2012)

On 444, founding editor Péter Uj suspects the sale of shares is . He ridicules the official explanation according to which the huge amount of money Csányi has withdrawn from OTP will be needed to build a slaughterhouse. On the other hand he is sure that Csányi must possess a lot more OTP shares under various other names. In Hungarian high-power business, he adds, nothing can be known for certain, but Csányi is certainly worth more than the estimates regularly published on the annual lists of the wealthiest 100 Hungarians. The author attempts “a plausible reconstruction” of what is going on, pointing out that although Csányi was on friendly terms with PM Orbán and used to give good jobs to his people before 2010, “there is no friendship at the peak”, and banks have been hit hard by PM Orbán’s taxes since then. Csányi’s erstwhile trusted deputy, Zsolt Spéder, presently CEO of FHB Bank (and owner of Index the news portal that Uj, its editor-in-chief, left earlier this year to launch 444) is now at loggerheads with his former boss and might build a rival financial empire through the “expropriation” by the government of savings banks. Csányi, on the other hand, is not one to give up a fight easily. Selling his shares might have been a simple warning to the government, Uj suggests, and analysts should now watch what steps other shareholders take – shareholders behind whom Csányi might be suspected.

Tags: , ,