News

Daily Newsletter - 10 March 2017

Summary

Macroeconomic News (5)

Gas price to jump 5-6% on April 1 (Source: economica.net; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

The price of natural gas will increase by 5-6% on April 1 for household consumers. These consumers will be protected over the course of 2017 from any sudden free market price spikes, according to Niculae Havrilet, president of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE).

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Investment in Romania down 3.3% last year (Source: bursa.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

The value of net investment in Romania's economy dropped 3.3% last year, compared to 2015, down to RON 70.3 billion. The main plunge came in the fourth quarter, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS).

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Hourly labour cost increased by over 12% in Q4 2016 compared to 2015. Higher earnings in healthcare and education (Source: cursdeguvernare.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

The hourly labour cost in adjusted terms (by the number of working days) registered an increase of 12.33% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The highest increases have been registered in real estate (29.36%), healthcare and social assistance (22.21%) and education (19.46%). Only the financial intermediation and insurance field suffered a decrease of the labour cost (-1.55%), according to the provisional data released Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The increases of the hourly labour cost in the public sector have been influenced mainly by the application of the relevant legal provisions, states INS. In unadjusted terms, the change in the average hourly labour cost compared to the same reference periods, had a similar trend as the adjusted form (4.31%, respectively 13.70%). The increase of the adjusted indices of the direct labour costs component (salary costs) was 12.30% compared to the same quarter of the previous year and the increase of the raw indices (unadjusted) was 13.72%. The indirect costs component (non-salary) registered similar increases (12.44%, respectively 13.62%).

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RON 15 million budget for R&D activities (Source: euractiv.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

A new type of financing for private companies will be launched by the end of the month: the Innovative Technological Project of the Competitiveness Program (POC). This type of project focuses on innovating products or processes, based on the use and exploitation of scientific and technological knowledge.

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BNR: Romania faces macro stability and micro tensions (Source: profit.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Romania's current paradox is the good economic macrostability that defies the microeconomic tensions, according to Agnes Nagy, a board member of the National Bank of Romania (BNR). The statement was made at an event organized in Budapest by OTP Bank Romania and the Romanian Embassy.

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Financial News (4)

OTP Bank holds advanced acquisition negotiations with NBG (Source: profit.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

OTP Bank is holding advanced negotiations for the acquisition of Banca Romaneasca, a lender with a 2.2% market share. National Bank of Greece could be following in Millennium Bank's footsteps by selling its local subsidiary to OTP.

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MFP rejects bids (Source: zf.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) rejected on Thursday the banks' bids for state bonds because the interest rates demanded by the bankers were too high. The Ministry had put up for sale three-year bonds worth RON 600 million at 2.25% per year. The banks offered RON 532.07 million.

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Debtors complain (Source: bursa.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Clients who took out CHF-denominated loans from Raiffeisen Bank complain that the bank offers to convert their loans at a discount on the principal, but only if they agree to be reported to the Credit Bureau (BC). The bank does offer 25% discounts, but only to clients whose family indebtedness rate passes 60% and who are not more than 90 days behind in payments. The conversion is supposed to be done at the current BNR exchange rate.

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Fitch upgraded BCR's rating (Source: economica.net; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Financial evaluation agency Fitch Ratings announced the upgrading of BCR's ratings for long-term deposits denominated in the national and foreign currencies, from BBB to BBB+. The outlook is stable.

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Legislative News (1)

Minister says building consolidation law necessary (Source: news.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Minister Sevil Shhaideh stated on Thursday in Galati that the law regarding the consolidation of buildings must be amended and that the owners' consent must be bypassed. Shhaideh added that other laws could be used to punish the contractors who fail to meet the consolidation deadlines.

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Politics (2)

Dragnea rejects split talk (Source: romanialibera.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Liviu Dragnea said the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is not in danger of splitting and voiced his hope that ALDE would remain united in order to keep the ruling coalition going smoothly.

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Dacian Ciolos considers new political project (Source: cursdeguvernare.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Dacian Ciolos told RFI that the NGO he is planning to launch with other former members of his cabinet is considering "very seriously" a new political project, a movement or a party.

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Social (2)

One in 10 rural children goes to bed hungry (Source: news.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

Last year, more than 70% of Romania's rural families could not offer quality food to their children and one in 10 children went to bed hungry, according to a report from World Vision Romania. 40% of rural children work at home more than two hours per day, which is one of the main reasons why they drop out of school.

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EU fears epidemic (Source: cursdeguvernare.ro; Date: 2017-03-09; Author: Unspecified)

The European Center for Disease Control warned on Tuesday that Romania's measles epidemic could expand across the border. The press release was issued on Monday, when the number of dead children reached 17.

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