The industry is not showing signs of recovery in August, either, which is worrying for a branch that makes a quarter of the GDP. In August, compared to the previous month, the activity in the industry remained "in the positive territory". But if signs of decreases are not seen, there are no signs of expansion, either. One of the explanations is the poor increase in the economy in Q2, compared to Q1, only 0.1%, and the second one is the insufficient demand, reveals the industrial barometer for August conducted by IRSOP and the Management Faculty from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA). According to the quoted source, the companies reported in August a decrease in the volume of orders for export, as well as a decrease in imports of raw materials, while the supplies remain low, which indicates a poor demand, not just a season issue (given that August is the month of layoffs). The Industrial Barometer conducted monthly by IRSOP and SNSPA reflects the situation from the industry, as seen by the heads of companies and their expectations for the next six months. It involves 300 industrial companies with more than 9 employees, representative in the 15,000 companies from Romania. Its indicator or "the diffusion index" used in the analysis of the responses of the heads of companies is half of the percentage of those who say the situation is the same, plus those who report an increase. As for industrial production, where the bigger the index the better the situation, in August, compared to July, the indicator increased by just 1% from 55% to 56%, which rather shows stagnation, which will create problems because resuming the expansion becomes difficult if it covers more than five-six months, according to the authors of the study. In July, the industry was already in the fifth month of stagnation. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics in Q1 2015, the Gross Domestic Product increased, compared to Q1 2014, by 3.7%. The industry contributed with 0.5% to the increase in GDP, in Q1 2015 compared to Q1 2014, having a contribution of 22% to the GDP (24% in all of 2014).
The most important actors of the health system attend ZF Pharma Summit today and tomorrow, where the market of drugs, medical services and the reforms in the system will be discussed. This year, Romania had approximately EUR 6 billion for health, a budget that continued to be waste, as too many actors decide how it is spent - the Ministry of Health, the National Insurance Fund (CNAS) and the City Halls. For this reason, the public environment still cannot agree with the private environment and the misunderstandings between the two sides govern an environment in which the patient ends up losing. They either pay more for drugs or treatments. However, 2015 is the first one from a long period in which the health system is making steps toward a new formula. The decrease in the prices of drugs, the revision of the calculation of the clawback tax, the increase in the salaries of public employees of 25% and the revelation of the irregularities from the market are the most important subjects that made the agenda of players in the sector this year. All of these could lead to a new impasse between the public and the private environment, given that on one hand, the private camp says the state is doing everything in its power to increase its costs - an example being the clawback tax, whose calculation method doubled the money paid by companies to the state and decreased its profits. On the other hand, the state "accuses" the private camp of only being interested in profit and says as long as they do not intervene with such measures, the patients will be the only ones truly affected.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Public Finance (MFP) borrowed RON 198.4 million from banks, through an issuance of government securities with a residual due date of nine and a half years, with an average yield of 3.75% per year. The value from the prospect of the issuance was RON 200 million and banks made offers of RON 233 million, according to Agerpres. Today, an additional auction is scheduled, whereby the state wants to attract RON 30 more million in the yield established In yesterday's auction. The Ministry of Public Finance planned loans of RON 3.845 billion from commercial banks in September, RON 3.5 billion of which are through eight auctions of treasury certificates and government securities, and RON 345 million through additional sessions of non-competitive offers related to bond auctions. The amounts will be destined to the refinancing of the public debt and financing of the state budget's deficit.
Lendia, online loan brokerage platform, was introduced yesterday on the local market by four entrepreneurs, two Romanians and two Swedes, and plans to facilitate the way natural persons apply for crediting offers. Two banks from the system, Alpha Bank and Crédit Agricole, are already connected to the platform, and the founders say they are conducting advanced discussions with other banks as well. The users can apply for loans for personal needs, with or without mortgage, mortgage loans, the first house or refinancing for real estate loans. Lendia, by connecting the partner banks to the website, offers clients a free and independent online solution to receive the crediting offers.
The National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) receives even 100 complaints a day from consumers against banks, reiterated yesterday the president of the institution, Marius Dunca, who says banks should present solutions to reduce the burden of debtors with problems in terms of reimbursing the loans. In July, ANPC started a thematic control in the banking sector, after the financial operators that granted loans in CHF refused refused the presence of the representatives for Consumer Protection in the collective negotiations with clients. Marius Dunca stressed at the time: "If they did not welcome us as observer, they will definitely welcome us as a control authority". In the thematic control, ANPC verifies if the measures of solving deficiencies were applied by the credit institutions. The controls are conducted at all the banks that offered loans in CHF, as well as the other financial institutions, according to the head of ANPC, who added: "We have final decisions that are not applied. They are mistreating Romanians, they will not understand that Romanians are unable to pay their loans and end up on the street with the families. In terms of statements, all the financial-banking operators are aces, but when it comes to applying the measures, things change". Mentioning that from the beginning of the year to that moment, ANPC registered 2296 complaints from the consumers, only 389 being solved amiably, Dunca stated that he would like the law to allow him to suspend the crediting activity of banks.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) analyzes the opportunity to intervene with new macro-prudential instruments to avoid a new crediting boom, given the increase in crediting for natural persons of 20% in two years, stated on Monday the head of the Financial Stability Division from BNR, Eugen Rădulescu. "The population's capacity to honor their debt improved due to the increase in the income and the decrease in the cost of loans. Nevertheless, caution is necessary. This increase has to be monitored accordingly by banks and us and I can tell you that as for the National Bank, we are analyzing the extent to which we should intervene in this process with new macro-prudential instruments, to avoid a new boom, maximum happiness, as it was until 2008, but will probably not repeat itself, because then, in the post-communist era, we did not know what a recession was", stated Rădulescu in a conference. He referred to an analysis of the crediting process in the last years, which revealed that this activity was resumed almost exclusively through the population. "The loan in RON for the population is the only portion that increases significantly starting with 2013, by 20% in this period of time", said Rădulescu. The director of BNR mentioned for Agerpres that this increase in crediting, of 20% in two years, is still reasonable, but a 30% increase would no longer be reasonable.
Real estate development company NEPI, one of the biggest investors from the local real estate market, will inaugurate on Thursday the extension of Shopping City Deva shopping center, a project whereby the current mall (the former Real Deva) goes from a surface for rent of 43,000 square meters to a surface of 54,000 square meters. The investment in the extension of the shopping center is EUR 14 million. According to data from the website of the shopping center, among the new tenants of Deva Shopping City are H&M, C&A and Deichmann, as well as a multiplex cinema operated by Cinema City. Deva Shopping City will reach 1,700 parking spaces after the extension. NEPI, which inaugurated this year one of the biggest shopping centers from the local market, Mega Mall from Bucharest, is also working on extensions of malls from the country such as City Park from Constanţa and Severin Shopping Center. The company also has an investment of over EUR 81 million in Shopping City Timişoara.
Bucureşti Turism, the biggest hotel company on the local market, has opened the first Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Bucharest, the investment being EUR 6 million. The hotel, located near five-star hotel Radisson Blu, has 210 rooms and apartments, a lobby lounge and a bar, a restaurant, 4 conference rooms with a lobby and 80 parking spaces. Bucureşti Turism announced in late 2013 that they want to turn half of the apartments from Centre Ville into a new housing unit, which will be the first one from Romania that operates under the brand Park Inn by Radisson. Park Inn by Radisson is part of Rezidor Hotel Group, which include Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson Red, Park Plaza and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM.
The Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies will debate on Tuesday the law draft for the modification of the law on personal data processing and protecting private life in electronic communications, according to Agerpres. The project was already adopted by the Senate on the 7th of September. According to the normative act, access to personal data is only possible with the preliminary authorization of the judge. "At the request of the courts or the investigation authorities or state authorities with responsibilities in defense and national security, with the preliminary authorization of the judge established according to the law, providers of electronic communication services for the public and providers of public networks of electronic communications offer them immediately, but not later than 48 hours, traffic data, equipment identification data and localization data, in accordance with the provisions regarding personal data protection", according to the project.
The package of laws regarding public purchases will be sent to the Parliament on the 15th of October so that the legislation will be implemented as of January 1 2016, stated on Monday the president of the National Agency for Public Purchases (ANAP), Roxana Mînzatu, in a public debate organized by the Institute for Public Policies (IPP), according to Agerpres. "We have already talked to our colleagues from the Parliament about what we want to do in the legislative area. The transposition of the European directive on public purchases into the Romanian legislation is just a pillar from the national strategy. The strategy will be organized over the course of the next two years. In the strategy, we identified as an important issue the standardization of the documentation. We have two constraints. Transposing the directives, the European norm and adapting to the Romanian realities", mentioned Roxana Mînzatu. IPP organizes on Monday and Tuesday an international workshop entitled "A new vision in public purchases, a system to render public resources efficient and new working coordinates with the private environment".
The application of the law of insolvency of natural persons might have a budget impact of RON 1.2 billion, in five years, calculated based on the existing estimations regarding the number of insolvency cases, namely 800,000, and the monthly tariff of RON 100-300 per case, an impact that was not foreseen by authorities, according to Alexandru Stănescu, consultant at World Bank. "I would have liked to see in the substantiation note of the normative act at least a budget impact regarding the cases that will come and the tariffs the administrators of the procedure will apply. Simplistically, we put it on paper, but it is not an analysis of the bank, but a personal one, a calculation. So far, 800,000 cases of insolvency of natural persons were discussed, when we started the debates on the law. Considering the five years, the length of the reimbursement plan, and a monthly tariff of RON 100-300 per case, according to the norms, only if we multiply these numbers, we reach an impact of RON 1.2 billion in five years. Although I am not a budget specialist, I think it is a significant impact which deserves more attention from the Ministry of Public Finance and perhaps the colleagues from ANPC", explained, mentioning that he speaks personally, Alexandru Stănescu, quoted by Agerpres. He added that he did not take into account the administrative costs for the Committee of Insolvency and the Territorial Committee. Regarding the normative act, Alexandru Stănescu mentioned that the law can be considered good, but it will depend a lot on how it will be interpreted and applied.
The leaders of PNL Parliament groups from the Chamber of Deputies and from the Senate, Eugen Nicolăescu (photo) and Puiu Haşotti, announced on Monday that they sent to the Permanent Offices the text of the censure motion initiated by PNL. The motion will be debated in the plenum next week, on Tuesday, announced the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea. The Secretary-General of liberals Marian Petrache announced that PNL will start negotiations with the other Parliament formations to support the efforts of the liberals. The chances of the motion passing the Parliament are low: PSD has already announced that they will not support the censure motion, ALDE refuses the dialog with PNL, announced Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, and UNPR constantly talks about the support offered to the current Government. In its effort, PNL might only be supported by PMP MPs, possibly those from UDMR, but with them, they cannot form the majority necessary to replace the Government.
The unionists from the railway sector will be on strike between September 22 an 24, namely on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a decision regarding a general strikes that starts on the 1st of October being made on Wednesday, stated on Monday, for Agerpres, Iulian Măntescu, president of the Federation of Locomotive Mechanics (FLM). "On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, our union members will be on a general strike, wearing a white armband to protest against the fact that their requests were not met. A decision regarding the general strike that starts on the 1st of October will be made on Wednesday, after the meeting requested from the Minister of Transports, Iulian Matache. The people are very upset with the work conditions, which is why authorities have to quickly identify solutions to solve the union problems", said Iulian Măntescu, after the meeting with the representatives of the Ministry on Monday.