Off-shore brokers rake in EUR 40 million selling Hungarian “residency bonds”

January 5, 2015


The government of Hungary has sold a total of 2,213 “residency bonds” to foreigners to date, the vast majority (1,924) to Chinese nationals.

The bonds have a maturity of five years.  Those who purchased the EUR 250,000 bonds (EUR 300,000 from January) may apply for a Hungarian residency permit within six months of purchase.  The permit enables them to move freely throughout the Schengen zone, which includes all of the EU (except the UK and Ireland), Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

The sale of residency bonds is not only good business for the government but also for the seven companies approved by Hungary’s Parliamentary Committee for Economics chaired by Antal Rogán.  In addition to buying the bond, applicants must pay a 7.3 percent commission to one of seven country brokers contracted by Hungary’s Center for State Debt Management (ÁKK).  This means the seven brokers, six of which are registered in off-shore tax havens, have made some EUR 40.39 million to date.