Hungary’s Minister of Justice, Mr. Navracsics said this week that the government was considering legislation to retroactively change the terms of fx loan contracts. He provided no further details on what modifications were being contemplated or what type of FX loan contracts would be impacted. The worst case option, as it was revealed by Hungarian media, suggests fx losses on ALL fx loans would be shared between the banks, the government and the debtor. Each party would pay the one-third of the burden.
Erste has EUR 2 bln. CHF based loans to Hungarian private individuals. We assume an average original fx rate at which debtors took loans was around 160 HUF/CHF (average fx rate during fx loans boom between 2005-2008), which is 33% below current fx rate. So the total fx loss could reach (under this scenario) 660 mln. EUR, the one-third would be a loss paid by Erste (220 mln. EUR pre- tax, or roughly 27% of 2012 income before tax). The impact of the worst case scenario may be tempered if the government allows banks to offset losses from the special tax as was the case in the early repayment scheme.
Note that OTP shares have lost circa 17% since the new hit the wire (July 16). Erste did not react to the news. Note that the potential impact of this news is more negative for OTP. We estimate that the potential loss to OTP could be HUF 72 bln, or 300 mln. EUR, which is roughly 60% of OTP’s income before tax last year.