The ICEG European Center in Budapest, Hungary, and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, are releasing the results of a survey on outward investors today.1 The survey is part of a long-term study of the rapid global expansion of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets. The results released today focus on Hungarian MNEs. The present survey, conducted in 2013, covers the period 2009-2011.

The report includes a ranking of Hungarian MNEs based on their foreign assets (see Table 1). The 20 MNEs ranked held more than US$ 18 billion in foreign assets in 2011. The top-ranked firm, MOL Group, accounted for more than US$ 17 billion, or almost 93% of these assets. The top 20 companies together registered foreign sales of more than US$ 20 billion in 2011 and employed more than 36,000 workers abroad (see Table 2). In 2011, Hungary was the 22nd outward investor in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) stock among emerging markets and the 17th largest in terms of outward FDI flows, well below the BRIC countries, but a large investor among the new member states 3 of the European Union. Outward investment by Hungarian companies went primarily into mining, quarrying, and oil and gas exploration and production and pharmaceuticals. Other investment areas included electronics, transportation and storage, plastics production, construction, building materials, energy, manufacturing of medical precision instruments, food products, and IT and other services.

The 20 companies on the list have 137 affiliates in 31 countries, with a strong concentration in Europe, mainly in Central and Western Europe (110 affiliates). These are primarily located in neighboring or geographically close countries such as Romania (22 affiliates), Germany (10), Slovakia (8), Poland (7), and the Czech Republic (6). The average figure for the transnationality index (TNI), a measure of firms’ degree of internationalization, is relatively high at 44 compared to many other emerging economies at roughly the same level of GDP per capita (to be discussed later). With a TNI of 85, the leading company, MOL Group, is amongst the most “transnationalized” firms in the group of emerging multinationals (see Table 2 and Figure 2 in the Annex for details).

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