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EU regulator probes Hungarian support for new auto parts plant

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had opened an in-depth investigation into Hungarian public support for the construction of a new automotive components plant in Eszak Magyarorszag, in northern Hungary.

The Commission will assess whether the 43.76 million euros ($43.94 million) of aid, intended for Rubin NewCo Kft, is proportionate, has no negative effect on competition and trade in the EU and whether or not the investment would have been carried out in that region without public support.

The Commission said in a statement that is preliminary assessment was that the investment project facilitates the economic development and employment in a less advantaged region.

"Nevertheless, the Commission has doubts on whether the measure is in line with EU state aid rules, in particular the guidelines on regional state aid," the Commission said.

($1 = 0.9951 euros)

(Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)