The Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) reported RON 309.75 million in aggregated trades for last week, with stocks accounting for RON 283.75 million, according to an analysis released by Plus Capital. Stock trades went up 77.63% from the previous week. The most popular stocks were Banca Transilvania, Romgaz, BRD-GSG, the Proprietatea Fund and Transgaz.
The National Institute for Statistics (INS) announced that it expects for the third quarter an increase in the retail sector's activity, a relatively stable industrial workforce, as well as relatively stable prices across the economy. Industrial prices are likely to increase by 1% in the next two months.
The growth of business in counties such as Timis, Cluj, Brasov and Sibiu, has brought Bucharest's share of the national economy down significantly. The aggregated turnover of the companies based in Bucharest dropped by 37% over the past seven years, down to RON 433 billion. The city's share of the national pie plunged from 63% in 2008 to 37% this year. Meanwhile, the figures posted by companies based in 26 counties are at least 50% higher compared to 2008.
The VAT rate cut scheduled for January 1, 2016, is expected to bring the price of diesel and gasoline down RON 0.13. If the fuel surcharged was also eliminated, the price of fuel would fall RON 0.50. The Fiscal Code passed by the Parliament features a VAT rate reduction from 24% to 20% in 2016.
The banking system has lost since the beginning of the economic crisis a fifth of its employees and bank offices. 14,282 employees were laid off and 1,349 offices were shuttered, but the pace of restructuring is now considerably slower. "Restructuring is not just layoffs. It also means a change of mindset. And quality. The problem is that bankers need to start thinking about a new business model," said Nicolae Cinteza, head of BNR's Supervisory Division.
Volksbank Romania took at the request of its new majority shareholder, Banca Transilvania, one of the most unexpected decisions: it removed the risk fee from its borrowing contracts and returned the amounts already paid by the debtors. It also offered to convert all of its CHF-denominated loans to the national currency with a 22.5% discount on the principal.
The conflicts between clients and retailers or banks will be handled by a new institution operating under the National Authority for Consumer Protection's (ANPC) control. The new institution will begin operating in early 2016 and its purpose will be to keep as many conflicts as possible away from the courts.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened on Friday, August 28, the new Bucharest Sheraton, formerly a Howard Johnson Grand Plaza hotel. The refurbishing of the 270-room hotel took one year and cost a total of EUR 6 million.
The Bacau County Council has granted a Romanian-Italian consortium a EUR 400,000 contract for designing the modernization and expansion of the runway used by the George Enescu International Airport. Specialist Consulting SRL and 3 TI Progetti Italia - Ingegneria Integrata were declared winners of the public tender.
More than 70,000 graduates of unaccredited universities will have their diplomas recognized by the Ministry of Education, according to an ordinance issued by the Cabinet. The ordinance came in the wake of a flood of lawsuits launched by 18,000 graduates. The courts had consistently ruled in the graduates' favor and against the Ministry of Education.
Mihai Fifor is the new leader of the Social Democratic caucus in the Senate and his election will be officially announced during Tuesday's meeting of the Senate, the first of the autumn session. He was backed by 42 PSD senators to Serban Nicolae's 12. One vote was canceled.
The negotiations between ROMATSA's managers and unions continued through the weekend and both sides say that the common ground leading to a solution is there. The Bucharest Court of Justice ruled last week that the workers' September 1 strike is legal, although the ruling is not final. The traffic controllers have a list of 14 demands they want the managers to agree to and say that their problems are "life and death" matters for passenger safety.