Forbes Hungary has published its seventh annual list of Hungary’s 50 Richest. It is yet again topped by Viktor Orbán’s friend and close ally, construction mogul Lőrinc Mészáros, followed by OTP Bank Chairman and CEO Sándor Csányi.
The business magazine notes that despite the damaging effects of the pandemic, Hungary’s wealthiest had much worse years than 2020.
The assets of Hungary’s richest man, Lőrinc Mészáros, are estimated close to HUF 500 billion, despite the fact that his main company Opus Global, the backbone of his assets, greatly suffered from the effects of the first Covid wave.
The wealth of the former mayor of Felcsút is estimated at HUF 479.4 billion (EUR 1.35 billion), which is HUF 70 billion (EUR 197 million) more than a year before. Mészáros has been topping Forbes Hungary’s rich list since 2018.
His rapid rise over the past nine years was nothing less than spectacular. He managed to become the richest person in Hungary even though his name was nowhere near the most wealthy just a decade ago.
This has led many to argue that the true source of the former Mayor of Felcsút’s wealth is favoritism and corruption, and that his companies act as an informal slush fund for his friend the Prime Minister.
Hungary’s second wealthiest man is Sándor Csányi, Chairman and CEO of OTP Bank, one the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe. His assets are estimated at HUF 393.4 billion. In addition to the OTP Group, Csányi’s portfolio also includes significant agricultural interests.
Hungary’s largest real estate investor Tibor Veres, the owner of Wing and Wallis, comes third on the list, with an estimated wealth at HUF 258.6 billion.
The two sons of Russian billionaire Megdet Rachimkulov also made it to Forbes Hungary’s list: Timur is fourth with HUF 257 billion and Ruslan seventh with HUF 240 billion.
Zsolt Felcsuti, who accumulated his wealth through his investments in the mechanical engineering industry, was ranked fifth (HUF 246.1 billion), followed by György Gattyán who became one of Hungary’s richest people after he created webcam site LiveJasmin, which was then used as the basis of his multinational IT and media company Docler.
The assets of businessman Sándor Demján’s family, who died in 2018, is estimated at HUF 214.3 billion, ranking him in eighth place.
Hungary’s 9th richest is László Szíjj, whose construction companies won numerous public procurements in the past decade. The last time his name hit the news was in the summer of 2020 after pictures of Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó were taken on Szíjj’s luxury yacht.
Hungary’s tenth richest person, according to Forbes, is businessman Gábor Széles, the owner and chairman of Videoton and Ikarus.
Interestingly, there are only 49 on the list of Hungary’s 50 Richest. The reason for this is that the owners of Hell Energy, who were ranked 26th on last year’s list, won a lawsuit against the business magazine after it included their names. Due to this, Forbes Hungary couldn’t publish theirs or even the company’s name.
Featured photo by Boglárka Bodnár/MTI