The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) believes that, in order to attract new investments in the energy sector, Romania needs to create a stable, predictable and transparent market in terms of the implementation of public policies and of the regulation framework in this sector. 'In order to remain attractive for long-term investments, the sector needs to be liberalized and freed from bureaucratic barriers, while reconciling the important aspects in the short term of price accessibility with the critical matter of long term security of supply,' informed the FIC. The FIC on Tuesday organises a round table on the need of investments in the Romanian energy sector.
The industrial production went up 2.9% in the first four months of this year, on an annual basis, but it's still far from the 8.1% growth rate reported for 2014. "The industrial production's annual dynamic has recently stabilized and seems to be converging with the potential pace," said Andrei Radulescu, senior economist at Banca Transilvania.
Consumer prices went up 0.5% in May, on a monthly basis, and the annual inflation rate jumped from 0.8% to 1.2%. The price of food increased by 1.2%, while non-food prices gained 0.8% and services became 2.1% more expensive, according to the National Institute for Statistics (INS). However, the June 1 VAT rate cut is expected to push the inflation rate down to new lows.
The World Bank has revised upward 1 pp Romania's economy growth rate for 2015, according to the World Economic Prospects report. However, the financial institution maintained the 3.2% growth rate estimate for 2016 and revised the 2017 estimate downward 0.4 pp. For the wider Europe and Central Asia region, the World Bank expects an economic growth rate of 1.8%, down from 2.4% in 2014.
BRD Asset Management, the third-biggest funds manager in Romania, expects the US dollar to continue to rise against the euro in the medium term and has set up an open investment fund denominated in dollars in order to take part in the rally. The firm has recently obtained the Financial Supervisory Authority's (ASF) approval for the BRD USD fund.
The aggregated earnings of the national banking system amounted to RON 800 million in the first quarter of this year, according to Nicolae Cinteza, head of the BNR's Supervisory Division. "The banking system is stable and solvent, probably too solvent. The solvency rate is 18.6%. The banks should start taking risks or face decapitalization," said Lazea.
US investment fund Apollo Global Management, which handles EUR 145 billion worth of assets, has pulled out of the bidding war taking place over the EUR 2.7 billion NPLs package put up for sale by BCR. Three other groups of investors are still vying for BCR's NPLs.
Private equity funds invested EUR 78 million in Romanian companies last year, up 11% from 2013, but still a far cry from the EUR 300 million reported for 2008. The number of foreign investment targets increased from 16 to 19, with 63% of the money used to buy out other shareholders.
Italian brand Stefanel opened an apparel store on Iulius Mall Cluj's ground floor. This is the 12th store for the brand that has been operating on the Romanian market since the early '90s. The retailer has production contracts for fabrics and coats with four local factories, with some 20% of the clothing items sold by the group worldwide being made in Romania.
Only 570 kilometers of new highways were built in Romania after 1989, most of them after the country's accession to the European Union and mainly with Brussels's financial help, according to the June issue of Business Construct. The 570 kilometers were built at a cost of almost EUR 3.5 billion.
The Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) wants a law that would regulate the investment funds and that would include an entire chapter about the elimination of the SIFs ownership threshold, according to vice-president Mircea Ursache. "We haven't started working on this yet, but I expect to see the bill brought before the Parliament in the next session," said Ursache.
The Minister of Transport, Ioan Rus, has managed to insult on live television millions of Romanians working abroad. "They are maybe paid EUR 1,500 per month. What this money buys them back home is children who become punks and wives who become whores," said Rus. Less than 24 hours after the show, the Minister resigned. "I regret the situation caused by Mr. Ioan Rus's statements! He took full responsibility for them and tendered his resignation! I accepted it and we will discuss a replacement next week," wrote Prime Minister Victor Ponta on his Facebook account.
Romania is not a good environment for migrants, according to the 2015 Migrants Integration Barometer (BII). In order to obtain Romanian citizenship, migrants must reside legally in Romania for 5 or even 8 years and be married to a Romanian citizen. During this time, they cannot vote, be elected, establish parties, file petitions or take part in their local or regional decision-making process. However, they must pay local and national taxes.