Electricity exports jumped 27% year-on-year in the first five months of this year, reaching EUR 156 million. The reduction of electricity transport prices is expected to push exports even higher, above last year's record EUR 250 million, according to Niculae Havrilet, president of ANRE.
The International Monetary Fund and the big national banks had failed to see ahead of time the financial and economic crisis that struck last decade. The severe destabilization of banking systems led to a series of measures that had the exclusive purpose of keeping the financial institutions alive, despite the massive cost to state budgets.
The balance of payments' current account showed a deficit of EUR 27 million for the first four months of this year, compared to a deficit of EUR 326 million for the corresponding period of 2014. However, at the end of Q1, 2015, the current account showed a EUR 406 million surplus.
Dana Demetrian, vice-president of retail and private banking at BCR, stated at the fourth ZF Bankers Summit that refinancing accounts for 25-30% of new loans. However, banks are trying to increase their exposure to these clients, instead of being content to roll the debt over. The cheapest consumer loans bear interest rates in the single-digit range, with RON-denominated housing loans going as low as 4% per year.
At a time when confidence in the Romanian banking system is low, BCR has asked consumers to monitor its actions and help it make internal decisions. BCR has also become the first bank to announce the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Association of Romanian Financial Services Users (AURSF).
The International Finance Corporation, a part of the World Bank, has opened a USD 30 million credit line for Alpha Bank Romania. The funds will be used to finance the trading operations of Romania's importers and exporters. The credit line was granted under the Global Trade Financing Program.
AFI Europe is preparing to extend the entertainment area of the AFI Cotroceni mall by 1,000 sqm, while another 7,000 sqm will be added to the fashion stores zone. The parking zones will also grow in size. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2016 at a cost of EUR 14-15 million.
The 250 NGOs who make up the Romania Breathes Coalition (CRR) accused the members of the Chamber's Health and Family Commission of refusing to take up the bill banning smoking in closed public spaces. CRR members warned that the commission had postponed any discussion of this bill for the third time.
The Chamber's Legal Affairs Commission decided on Tuesday to postpone for a month the discussion of the 22 amendments regarding the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. Since the Parliament's recess begins on June 30, the discussion was effectively postponed until autumn.
Foreign policy experts think that Prime Minister Victor Ponta's departure for Baku, Azerbaijan, without notifying President Klaus Iohannis has triggered a new row between the two officials, as well as damaging Romania's image and credibility.
Only 1.7% of Romanians donate blood, compared to 66% of Austrians or 52% of French, according to data released on the World Donor Day by the Ministry of Health. Bucharest residents were urged to donate blood on Monday at the two mobile centers set up in front of the Ministry of Health's headquarters.