So far, the Budapest Stock Exchange has presented around 200 Hungarian companies in its BSE50 brochure. This has not only brought these companies closer to the stock exchange, but also to one another. Their membership in the BSE50 Club has helped them establish important business contacts, share valuable experience, and inspire other members of this community as well as future generations of entrepreneurs. This year has already seen the first BSE50 Club event whose purpose—like that of this brochure and the yearly conference in late September—is to bring together the best Hungarian companies and to help them purposefully build their community.

The launching of the Bond Funding for Growth Scheme has let the Budapest Stock Exchange widen its range of services provided for Hungarian companies. The programme of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank to fund the growth plans of 100-150 medium and large companies has shifted the Hungarian bond market into high gear as well. It has already raised considerable interest in the first months after its launch—nearly 100 companies have expressed interest, while 30 of them have already launched the pre-requisite credit rating processes. To facilitate the mandatory listing of the bonds, the Budapest Stock Exchange has created the BSE Xbond platform, thus allowing a more flexible appearance on the secondary market. The programme also favours better relations between commercial banks and their business clients. Commercial banks can add corporate bond issuance to their range of standard bank loan services; thus, the programme also plays an important role in stimulating the market.

The systematic market-building of BSE has already brought visible results. Since the publication of the past year’s brochure, large companies such MKB Bank and AutoWallis have entered the stock exchange, trading in the first stocks of the BSE Xtend market has started, and further listings are in process. The past year has seen BSE issuers increase their capital by HUF 220 bn in total.

The BSE Mentor Programme which provides financial support for preparation has welcomed new members: Gloser, an IT company, and DM-Ker, a construction and agricultural machinery dealership. Over the past year, 12 Hungarian companies have joined the ELITE international business development training, increasing the number of Hungarian participants to 24. All of this goes to show how the BSE service package offers integrated support—from knowledge sharing and financial support to access to new markets—for businesses that see the stock exchange as an opportunity for growth.

The business success stories in the BSE50 brochure have contributed to Hungary’s becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the European Union. Over the past years, wages have increased while the inflation rate has remained stable. Unemployment is at a record low, and Hungary is attracting an outstanding number of greenfield investment projects.As the Hungarian proverb goes, “The best time to stop sleeping is when it feels best.” Indeed, Hungary’s economy is at an important turning point: its businesses are facing technological challenges and must respond appropriately to the labour shortage. Meanwhile, both automation and digitalisation require significant capital outlays, and even the top companies have to keep working hard to stay in the race. But where there’s a will there’s a way: the stock exchange and the capital market are creating an environment for growth through financing and incentivising companies to rationalise their operations.

We would like to thank our partners for their active involvement in building the Hungarian capital market. Our special thanks go to EY and Figyelő magazine for taking part in the preparation of this brochure, and to Takarékbank, key sponsor of the BSE50 conference.

May these 50 stories be a source of inspiration to all!