The ICEG European Center in Budapest, Hungary, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), 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. 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 2014, covers the period 2009-2013.

The report includes a ranking of Hungarian non-financial MNEs based on their foreign assets in 2013 (see Table 1). The 20 MNEs ranked held more than US$ 20 billion in foreign assets. The top-ranked firm, MOL Group (including TVK, of which MOL Group is a majority holder) accounted for almost US$ 19 billion, or almost 93% of these assets. The top 20 companies together registered foreign sales of more than US$ 25 billion in 2013 and employed more than 34,000 workers abroad (see Table 2). In 2013, Hungary was the 19th outward investor in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) stock among emerging markets2 and the 23rd largest in terms of outward FDI flows, well below the BRIC countries, but the second largest investor among the new member states of the European Union.

Outward investment by Hungarian companies went primarily into oil and gas exploration and production (mining and quarrying) and pharmaceuticals, mainly due to the activities of the top two firms in our ranking: MOL Group and Gedeon Richter. Other investment areas included electronics, construction, transportation and storage, manufacturing of medical precision instruments, building materials, plastics production, construction and other manufacturing and services industries.

The 20 companies on the list have 169 affiliates in 41 countries, with a strong concentration in Europe, mainly in Central and Western Europe (132 affiliates). These are primarily located in neighboring or geographically close countries such as Romania (23 affiliates), Slovakia (14), Poland (9), Ukraine (8), Bulgaria (6) and the Czech Republic (6); Germany (8) is the leading host country in Western Europe.

The average TNI of the Hungarian top 20 is relatively high at 39% compared to other European emerging economies (e.g., 29% for Poland, 36% for Russia or 31% for Turkey).6 With 91% TNI, MOL Group, is amongst the most “transnationalized” firms in the group of emerging multinationals (see Table 2 and Figure 2 in the Annex).

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