The Political Aspect of Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of the Hungarian Oil Firm MOL

The Journal of World Investment & Trade, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 79-90, February 2010

Posted: 11 Mar 2010

See all articles by Kalman Kalotay

Kalman Kalotay

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); UNCTAD

Date Written: February 28, 2010

Abstract

Based on the analysis of the case of the Hungarian oil and gas firm MOL, target of a hostile takeover bid first by Austria’s OMV (2007), then by Russia’s Surgutneftegaz (2009), this essay attempts to show how such hostile takeover bids in an industry (energy) deemed strategic by the host country contribute to the revival of political considerations related to foreign direct investment. It is argued that, although sensitivities to Russian investors may be limited to certain parts of the world where countries have to cope with a difficult historical heritage, the case of Hungary is not isolated. Other countries can show other types of sensitivities, leading to a similar result. Hence politics in foreign direct investment needs to be a major theme for future research. It is also emphasized that politics is not equal to protectionism. Indeed, some political intervention into investment may be more, and not less, favourable to foreign investors.

Keywords: Politics, foreign direct investment, oil, Russia, Hungary

JEL Classification: F21, F23, F52, P28

Suggested Citation

Kalotay, Kalman, The Political Aspect of Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of the Hungarian Oil Firm MOL (February 28, 2010). The Journal of World Investment & Trade, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 79-90, February 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1567437

Kalman Kalotay (Contact Author)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ( email )

Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise
Palais des Nations
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

UNCTAD ( email )

Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise
Palais des Nations
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

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