The amount financed by the subsidiaries of the Hungarian Leasing Association in the first half of 2019 amounted to Hungarian Forint (HUF) 375bn (£1.05bn), an increase of 14% year-on-year and the highest half year result since 2008.
Machinery recorded a 35% increase in financing in this segment,and there was also a double digit increase in vehicle financing. Leasing schemes were also included in the National Bank of Hungary’s discount program, NHP Fix.
Zoltán Tóth, general secretary of the Hungarian Leasing Association, said: “The growth in the first half of the year has been rapid and the growth rate has accelerated compared to the first quarter. In addition, we anticipated a 10% rise, which was significantly outpaced by the market. Leasing schemes were a good part of the National Bank of Hungary’s program for SMEs, with 44% of transactions in NHP Fix coming from leasing.”
The financing of passenger cars and vans increased by 11% to HUF 132bn, making up 35% of all leasing deals in the country.
Tóth said: “The growth so far is spectacular, but it is important that changes in emission standards are expected to cause market disruption, which could curb future growth, both in the car and leasing markets.”
Growth was also more subdued in the HGV sector, with sales up 2% for H1 2019 by year-on-year comparison. There was also above average expansion in the fleet market, with leasing totals up by 16% to HUF 46.5bn.
The financing of agricultural machinery amounted to HUF 45.2bn, an increase of 15%. Construction machinery was financed by leasing companies for an amount of HUF 14.5bn, a year-on-year increase of 29%.
Production machinery and equipment saw an increase again after stagnation in 2018; the amount financed increased by 35% to HUF 36bn, the largest amount in a half year period since 2012.
According to Katalin Nyikos, president of the Hungarian Leasing Association, the leasing market will continue to grow in the second half of the year, but the pace of expansion may be more subdued, partly as a result of the expected slowdown in the car market. At the same time, growth can be helped by the increased willingness of small and medium-sized enterprises to develop, as flexible leasing arrangements, which can be said to be cheap and cost-effective, are a possible solution for investment.