The Government Debt Management Agency (AKK) on Thursday said it will stop selling residency bonds, citing favourable developments in the country’s financing conditions in the last year. Applications for the purchase of residency bonds can be submitted until March 31, the AKK said. Hungary’s finance minister said last year the residency bonds had been among government debt instruments that needed to be reassessed.
The residency bond scheme was launched in 2013. Foreign nationals who buy securities backed by the bonds with a face value of 300,000 euros enjoy an accelerated application procedure for residence in Hungary. AKK figures from December 31, 2016 show that residency bonds with a total face value of 1.239 billion euros have been sold so far. The scheme has been criticised by opposition parties, and the government said late 2016 it would review or phase it out early this year.
The green LMP party said cancellation of the residency bond scheme does not nullify the stolen hundred billion forints. Group leader Erzsébet Schmuck said in a statement that the government had decided to cancel the scheme only to clear up traces of a scandal that had deprived the treasury of around one hundred billion forints. The cancellation of the scheme indirectly shows that the accusations of corruption were indeed justified, she added.