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Hungarian government eyes majority stake in Budapest Airport – newspaper By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General view of the Ferenc Liszt airport’s terminal 2A in Budapest,Hungary,29 March 2016. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

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BUDAPEST (Reuters) – The Hungarian government wants to acquire a majority ownership stake in the country’s main international airport in Budapest, the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet reported on Friday, citing unspecified industry sources.

Budapest Airport is a fast-growing, medium-sized airport that has benefited from a boom in low-cost travel, but is facing a difficult market due to the coronavirus pandemic that has sharply reduced the number of travellers.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he wants to see the airport in domestic hands, but until now its owners have expressed no interest in selling it.

The airport’s majority owner today is Canadian pension investment management group PSP with just over 55%. Singapore’s GIC Special Investments and Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec each hold about 20%.

The Hungarian state currently has no stake in the airport, which had been state-owned until 2005.

Hungarian media last year reported that local real estate management group Indotek was part of a consortium in talks to buy Budapest Airport, citing Indotek owner and CEO Daniel Jellinek.

Indotek was heading a consortium of Hungarian and U.S. companies, Jellinek said at that time, adding that none of the members have political connections.

Spokesmen for the government and Indotek did not immediately reply to emailed Reuters requests for comment.

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