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Hungarian forint

Hungarian forint

Overview
The forint is the currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. It is divided into 100 fillér
Fillér
The fillér was the name of various small change coins throughout Hungarian history. It was the subdivision of the Austro-Hungarian and the Hungarian korona, the pengő and the forint. The name derives from the German word Vierer that means 'number four' in English. Originally it was the name of the...

, although fillér coins are no longer in circulation. The introduction of the forint on 1 August 1946 was a crucial step of the post-WWII
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 stabilization of the Hungarian economy
Economy of Hungary
The economy of Hungary is a medium-sized, structurally, politically and institutionally open economy in Central Europe and is part of the European Union's single market...

, and the currency remained relatively stable until the 1980s. Transition to market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 in the early 1990s deteriorated the value of the forint, inflation peaked at 35% in 1991. Since 2001, inflation is single digit and the forint was declared fully convertible
Convertibility
Convertibility is the quality that allows money or other financial instruments to be converted into other liquid stores of value. Convertibility is an important factor in international trade, where instruments valued in different currencies must be exchanged....

.
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Encyclopedia
The forint is the currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. It is divided into 100 fillér
Fillér
The fillér was the name of various small change coins throughout Hungarian history. It was the subdivision of the Austro-Hungarian and the Hungarian korona, the pengő and the forint. The name derives from the German word Vierer that means 'number four' in English. Originally it was the name of the...

, although fillér coins are no longer in circulation. The introduction of the forint on 1 August 1946 was a crucial step of the post-WWII
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 stabilization of the Hungarian economy
Economy of Hungary
The economy of Hungary is a medium-sized, structurally, politically and institutionally open economy in Central Europe and is part of the European Union's single market...

, and the currency remained relatively stable until the 1980s. Transition to market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 in the early 1990s deteriorated the value of the forint, inflation peaked at 35% in 1991. Since 2001, inflation is single digit and the forint was declared fully convertible
Convertibility
Convertibility is the quality that allows money or other financial instruments to be converted into other liquid stores of value. Convertibility is an important factor in international trade, where instruments valued in different currencies must be exchanged....

. As a member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, the long term aim of the Hungarian government is to replace the forint with the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

.

History




The forint's name comes from the city of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, where golden coins were minted from 1252 called fiorino d'oro
Italian coin florin
The Italian florin was a coin struck from 1252 to 1533 with no significant change in its design or metal content standard. It had 54 grains of nominally pure gold worth approximately 200 modern US Dollars...

. In Hungary, florentinus (later forint), also a gold-based currency, was used from 1325 under Charles Robert
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

 and several other countries followed its example.

Between 1868 and 1892 the forint was the name used in Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 for the currency of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, known in German as the Austro-Hungarian gulden
Austro-Hungarian gulden
The Gulden or forint was the currency of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1754 and 1892 when it was replaced by the Krone/korona as part of the introduction of the gold standard. In Austria, the Gulden was initially divided into 60 Kreuzer, and in Hungary, the...

 or Austrian florin. It was subdivided into 100 krajczár (krajcár in modern Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

).

The forint was reintroduced on 1 August 1946, after the 1945-1946 hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 of the pengő
Hungarian pengo
The pengő was the currency of Hungary between 1 January 1927, when it replaced the korona, and 31 July 1946, when it was replaced by the forint. The pengő was subdivided into 100 fillér...

. The process was managed by the Hungarian Communist Party
Hungarian Communist Party
The Communist Party of Hungary , renamed Hungarian Communist Party in 1945, was founded on November 24, 1918, and was in power in Hungary briefly from March to August 1919 under Béla Kun and the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The communist government was overthrown by the Romanian Army and driven...

, which held the relevant ministry seats, and the forint's success was exploited for political gains, contributing to the 1948-49 communist take-over of state powers. The forint replaced the pengő at the rate of 1 forint = 4×1029 pengő. In fact, this was an imaginary exchange rate, since, with highest value note being 100 million B. pengő
Paper money of the Hungarian pengo
Hungarian pengő paper money was part of the physical form of Hungary's historical currency, the Hungarian pengő. Paper money usually meant banknotes, which were issued by the Hungarian National Bank...

 (1020 pengő), the whole amount of pengő in circulation had a value of less than one forint at this rate. Of more significance was the exchange rate to the adópengő
Hungarian adópengo
The adópengő was a unit of currency of Hungary between 1 January 1946 when it was introduced as part of a stabilisation attempt of the pengő and 31 July 1946 when both were replaced by the forint...

 of 1 forint = 200 million adópengő.

Historically the forint was subdivided into 100 fillér, although fillér have been rendered useless by inflation and have not been in circulation since 1996. The Hungarian abbreviation for forint is Ft, which is written after the number with a space between. The name fillér, the subdivision of all Hungarian currencies since 1925, comes from the German word Heller
Heller (money)
The Heller or Häller was originally a German coin valued at half a pfennig and named after the city of Hall am Kocher...

. The abbreviation for the fillér is f, written also after the number with a space in between.

After its 1946 introduction, the forint remained stable for several years, but started to lose its purchasing power as the state-socialist economic system lost its competitiveness during the 1970s and 1980s. After the democratic change of 1989-90, the forint saw yearly inflation figures of app. 35% for three years, but significant market economy reforms helped stabilize it. Since year 2000 the relatively high value of forint (especially compared to the falling US dollar and to some extent to the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

) handicaps the strongly export-oriented Hungarian industry against foreign competitors with lower valued currencies.

As part of Hungary's integration into the European Union and its euro currency, the forint may disappear between 2012 and 2014, depending on the economic situation. As of autumn 2005, there is a strong disagreement between the Hungarian National Bank
Hungarian National Bank
The Hungarian National Bank is the central bank of Hungary. The principal aim of the bank is to retain price stability. It is also responsible for issuing the national currency, the forint, controlling the cash circulation, setting the Central Bank base rate, publishing official exchange rates...

 and the government whether EU-mandated low inflation figures and reduced foreign debt aims can be fulfilled by 2010. The situation threatens to make Hungary the last to adopt the euro currency of the ten countries that joined the EU in 2004.

Coins



In 1946, coins were introduced in denominations of 2, 10, 20 fillérs and 1, 2, 5 forints. The silver 5 forint was reissued only in the next year, later it was withdrawn from circulation. 5 and 50 fillérs coins were issued in 1948. In 1967, a 5 forint coin was reintroduced, followed by a 10 forint in 1971 and 20 forint in 1982.

In 1992, a new series of coins was introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and (a somewhat different, 500
Millesimal fineness
Millesimal fineness is a system of denoting the purity of platinum, gold and silver alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy. For example, an alloy containing 75% gold is denoted as "750". Many European countries use decimal hallmark stamps Millesimal fineness is a system of...

 silver) 200 forint. Production of the 2 and 5 fillér coins ceased in 1992, with all fillér coins withdrawn from circulation by 1999. From 1996, a bicolor
Bi-metallic coins
Bi-metallic coins are coins consisting of more than one metal or alloy, generally arranged with an outer ring around a contrasting center. Common circulating examples include the €1, €2, British £2, Canadian $2, South African R5, Turkish 1 lira, and all Mexican coins of $1 or higher...

 100 forint coin was minted to replace the 1992 version, since the latter was considered too big and ugly, and could be easily mistaken for the 20 forint coin.

Silver 200 forint coins were withdrawn in 1998 (due to their nominal value getting too low compared to their precious metal content), the 1 and 2 forint coins remained in circulation until 29 February 2008. The sum of total purchases are rounded to the nearest 5 forint (to 0 or to 5) when paid with cash. A new 200 forint coin made of base metal alloy was introduced in place of the 200 forint bank note on 15 June 2009.

Banknotes


In 1946, 10 and 100 forint notes were introduced by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungarian National Bank). A new series of higher quality banknotes (10, 20 and 100 forint) were introduced in 1947-48. 50 forint notes were added in 1953, 500 forint notes were introduced in 1970, followed by 1000 forint in 1983, 5000 forint in 1991.

A completely redesigned new series of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000 and 20 000 forint was introduced gradually between 1997 and 2001. Each banknote depicts a famous Hungarian leader or politician on the obverse and a place or event related to him on the reverse. All of the banknotes are watermark
Watermark
A watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light , caused by thickness or density variations in the paper...

ed, contain an embedded vertical security strip and suitable for the visually impaired people. The 1000 forint and higher denominations are protected by an interwoven holographic security strip. The notes share the common size of 154 × 70 mm. The banknotes are printed by the Hungarian Banknote Printing Corp. in Budapest on the paper manufactured by the Diósgyőr Papermill in Miskolc
Miskolc
Miskolc is a city in northeastern Hungary, mainly with heavy industrial background. With a population close to 170,000 Miskolc is the fourth largest city of Hungary It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and the regional centre of Northern Hungary.- Geography :Miskolc is located...

.

Commemorative banknotes were also issued recently: 1000 and 2000 forint notes to commemorate the millennium (in 2000) and 500 forint note to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution (in 2006).

Forgery of forint banknotes is not significant. However, forged 20 000 forint notes printed on the paper of 2000 forint notes after dissolving the original ink might come up and are not easy to recognize. Another denomination preferred by counterfeiters was the 1000 forint note until improved security features were added in 2006. For foreign visitors to Hungary, the main danger lies in exchanging their forint to international currencies. Fake dollars and euro banknotes are commonly disseminated by illegal street money exchangers. For their safety, tourists are advised not to attempt to exchange currency with touts. Legal currency exchange is only available in licensed booths (which are abundant), which always operate under the consortium of some commercial bank
Commercial bank
After the implementation of the Glass–Steagall Act, the U.S. Congress required that banks engage only in banking activities, whereas investment banks were limited to capital market activities. As the two no longer have to be under separate ownership under U.S...

 and always provide a receipt
Receipt
A receipt is a written acknowledgment that a specified article or sum of money has been received as an exchange for goods or services. The receipt is evidence of purchase of the property or service obtained in the exchange.-Printed:...

 of the transaction. Clients may be requested to produce a valid photographic ID when exchanging currency. Foreign coins are seldom exchanged, and exchange is normally done at a rate lower than the spot rate. An alternative to currency exchange is to use internationally known and accepted credit card
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

s for payments in Hungary.

Historical exchange rates


Exchange rates (1 XXX = ? HUF)
DateEUR
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

GBP
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

2010-07-16 282.09 http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi?Amount=1&From=EUR&To=HUF 333.93 218.23
2009-10-01 269.92 295.53 185.18
2009-03-06 316.00http://english.mnb.hu/engine.aspx?page=arfolyamtablazat&query=2009.03.01.,2009.03.15.,1,EUR 354.32 249.29
2009-01-01 265.73 277.65 189.95
2008-10-22 278.64 353.36 216.85
2008-07-18 229.11 http://english.mnb.hu/engine.aspx?page=arfolyamtablazat&query=2008.07.11.,2008.07.25.,1,EUR 288.06 144.44
2007-01-01 251.63 374.80 191.07
2006-01-01 252.65 367.55 213.22
2005-01-01 244.66 346.95 180.755
2004-01-01 261.83 371.59 206.83
2003-01-01 235.74 361.88 225.09
2002-01-01 244.75 395.45 271.88
2001-01-01 264.58 417.70 279.62
2000-01-01 254.47 407.22 248.82
1998-01-01
335.98 205.18
1995-01-01
173.30 110.75
1993-01-01
126.99 84.41
1990-01-01
100.23 62.54


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