In 2022, the forint reached unprecedented lows, having risen steadily above 400 against the euro. This year might bring some relief for the Hungarian currency after a stronger start to the new year, just like for the Hungarian stock market.
The Russian-Ukrainian war, the energy crisis, and inflation all contributed to the forint’s decline last year, but by the end of the year both the forint and the Budapest Stock Exchange’s BUX index had strengthened, with the Hungarian currency hitting a multi-month high. At the time of writing, the forint is trading at 395.42 against the euro, a significant improvement from the 415 forints it reached and even exceeded in mid-December.
According to analysts, the currency could continue to strengthen and even reach the 390 level in the near future, and some even believe that the exchange rate between the euro and the forint could fall below 380 forints by mid-year.
Meanwhile, the Hungarian stock market has also recovered, with the BUX index of the Budapest Stock Exchange closing last year at 43,793 points, but it continued to strengthen at the beginning of the year, reaching 44,937 points at the close on Wednesday. The leading stock last year was again OTP Bank, with annual turnover of €87.3 billion, albeit with a loss of 39.1 percent compared to the end of 2021. However, the shares of the leading Hungarian bank also soared in the new year, and after starting at 9,980 forints, they were already around 10,600 forints on Wednesday.
Hungarian oil and gas company MOL’s stock came in second place with a turnover of 27.4 billion in 2022, up 3.3 percent year-on-year. Third place went to pharmaceutical giant Richter Gedeon Nyrt.
Featured photo via Pexels