FIC is a permanent partner of the Romanian Government in finding the most effective solutions and measures to attract foreign direct investments. Attracting new FDI and also stimulating the investments already present in Romania, is a solution to stabilize and constantly increase the economy. FIC welcomes the adoption and publication in the Official Gazette of the normative act that establishes the Romanian Agency for Investments and Foreign Trade under the Government and the coordination of the Prime Minister. This represents a first step in aligning Romania to the good European practices for attracting foreign investments by creating a dedicated body for promoting investments (“one-stop shop”) whose main objective is to encourage investments in Romania through companies with foreign capital and to stimulate trade.
The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) published the results of the latest edition of the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) held in September 2022. The answers show that, despite the current challenges (inflation, energy market crisis and utility prices, geopolitical context, supply chain bottlenecks, available and adequate labour force), investors’ perception of the economic environment in Romania is moderately optimistic. The business environment takes a more cautious approach to new investments compared to last year’s edition when BSI revealed a maximum appetite for investment (since 2014), results that have been captured in the NBR report published at the end of September and which highlight the level of 8.9 billion euros in foreign direct investments in 2021, the second highest value of this indicator after the one in 2008.
Industrial producer prices (domestic and external market) grew by 46.7 % in September 2022 year-on-year, and decreased by 1% compared to August 2022, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics on Wednesday, 2 November. Prices in the mining industry increased by 79.28% in September compared to September 2021 and fell by 1.18% compared to August 2022. Crude oil and natural gas extraction recorded the biggest price increases in this category, of 120.58% year-on-year and prices were up 2.05% against August 2022.
The Romanian mergers and acquisitions market recorded 169 transactions in the first nine months of the year, up by 18% year-on-year, but the value of these deals fell to USD 4 billion, from USD 5.4 billion in September 2021, EY Romania has announced. At a quarterly level, trading activity picked up, with the volume having increased by 3.6% and the value having gone up 5.3% compared to the similar period of 2021.
Fiscal Council president Daniel Dăianu has stated that the surprise of high inflation is helping budget execution in Europe and other countries around the world, as seen in Romania, where nominal public budget revenues grew by nearly 20% in the first nine months of the year, compared to September 2021, amid an annual inflation of 15.9% in September. He has also indicated that 2022 is likely to mark a budget deficit of around 6% of GDP if the impact of the capping and compensation scheme is not overwhelming (the nine-month deficit was 3.04%). The inflation of 8.2% in 2021 and probably around 16% in 2022 has helped public debt not to exceed 50% of GDP, despite significant budget deficits.
Allianz-Tiriac has launched a new campaign within which it offers a free mandatory home insurance policy (PAD) upon contracting an optional home insurance policy during the period 1 November - 31 December 2022, according to the information transmitted by the insurer. The campaign encourages responsible insurance behavior and targets homeowners (type A) who are not yet insured with Allianz-Tiriac or Allianz-Tiriac clients whose policy expired at least 30 days ago. The campaign covers all optional home insurance products distributed by Allianz-Tiriac, directly or through intermediaries.
BCR has increased interest rates on RON-denominated household term deposits to 8%. The offer applies to both newly opened deposits and to those that are extended manually or automatically upon maturity, amid the rising inflation. The minimum amount needed for opening a RON-denominated deposit is RON 500, while minimum RON 1 is necessary for a savings account in RON. BCR has also increased the interest rate on the Maxicont RON-denominated savings account, from 1.50% to 2%, and has re-included into its offer euro- and USD-denominated term deposits with three-, six- or twelve-month maturities, with a single interest rate of 0.25%, regardless of the period, as well as the Maxicont savings account in RON and USD with an interest rate of 0.10%.
Allianz-Tiriac and UniCredit have launched a life insurance policy with an investment component, called Start Invest, with scheduled RON- or euro-denominated premiums and a flexible maturity period. Premiums can be monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annually, and clients can choose to keep investing after the contract reaches maturity for up to three years. UniCredit clients who purchase this insurance can invest the basic premium or additional investment premiums in three different risk class programs - low, low to medium and medium - managed by Allianz-Tiriac for investments in RON and by Amundi for investments in euro.
INSIA, a network of insurance and consumer loan brokers that is part of Marsh, is currently 80% owned by the Unilink Group, completing its insurance distribution network in Central and Eastern Europe, after having recently acquired the largest insurance broker in Romania, Safety Broker, according to the information provided by company representatives. By entering the Czech and Slovak markets with INSIA, Unilink is consistently implementing its plan to build the largest insurance sales platform in the CEE region.
Sanador Clinical Hospital, one of the largest private healthcare operators, owned by the Andronescu family, has invested EUR 6 million in a fully digitalized operating theatre, comprising two operating rooms with latest generation equipment. One thousand heart surgeries can be performed at Sanador annually following the opening of the new operating theatre. The investment was made from the operator’s own sources and from loans.
Monsson Group, the largest developer of green energy projects in Romania, has signed an agreement with Rezolv Energy, a company owned by the British investment fund Actis, for the construction of a 1,044 MW solar park in Arad. The solar park, currently managed through the project company West Power Investments, owned by businessman Emanuel Muntmark, received technical approval for connection to the grid at the end of March. The size of the project is unprecedented in Romania and at European level.
On Wednesday, 2 November, the Government approved the construction of a building for Artificial Intelligence Research laboratories at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca. Government spokesman Dan Cărbunaru has stated that the total value of the investment amounts to RON 126 million. The building will be built on the university’s campus, Mr. Cărbunaru has added, pointing out that its area will exceed 2,000 square meters.
On Wednesday, 2 November, the Constitutional Court of Romania approved the challenge filed by Save Romania Union (USR) party to the law allowing the construction of small hydropower plants in protected areas. CCR wrote in a press release that the law under criticism violated the principle of bicameralism, as the version adopted by the Senate fully covered the procedure and conditions under which the boundaries of protected natural areas can be modified (who can request the modification of boundaries, how and under what conditions), whereas the version adopted by the Chamber of Deputies only tangentially referred to this issue, while the substance of the regulation referred to the conditions under which hydropower projects in progress with a completion rate of more than 60% on 1 May 2022 would continue to be carried out, by way of derogation from a number of regulations relating to environmental protection.
During the meeting on Wednesday, 2 November, the Government approved a decision amending Government Decree 263/2001 on the planning, approval, maintenance and operation of recreational ski slopes and trails. Minister of Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Constantin-Daniel Cadariu, said the decision to update the legislation had been made following an analysis. The normative act regulates the access of people with special needs onto ski slopes, referring to their equipment, and updates the level of fines.
On Wednesday, 2 November 2022, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law giving Courts of Law jurisdiction to settle malpractice cases. The normative act amends Law 95/2006 by unifying jurisprudence on the jurisdiction to settle medical malpractice cases. The competence to settle such disputes currently belongs to District Courts. The procedure for determining malpractice cases does not prevent free access to justice under common law.
On Wednesday, during a ceremony held at the Cotroceni Palace, President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree for the promulgation of the law approving the National Cancer Prevention and Control Plan. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, by the initiators of the law and by presidential advisers. According to the law, the plan will be implemented for the period 2023-2030 and is the main public policy document underpinning cancer prevention and control measures at national level.
In recent years, energy companies operating large combined heat and power plants were looking to switch from coal to gas as a stepping stone towards decarbonisation. Now, soaring gas prices have put question marks over how to lower emissions from these energy and heat-producing installations. Across Europe, about 10% of heat is supplied by district heating systems, which pump heat through underground water pipes across neighborhoods or cities. Many of Europe’s large legacy district heating systems have historically been fed by combined heat and power (CHP) coal plants, particularly in Eastern Europe, where sprawling pipe networks were built by Communist governments decades ago. Today, 26% of Europe’s district heating is still supplied by plants burning coal.
Minister for Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities Gabriela Firea has announced the signing of credit conventions and the implementation of the governmental programs "Student Invest" and "Family Start". Loans of EUR 10,000 for students and EUR 15,000 for young families will be granted with a state guarantee and subsidized interest. Under the national program "Student Invest", young people in the higher education system authorized by the Ministry of National Education can obtain loans of up to RON 50,000.
More than 60% of Romanians rate themselves negatively in terms of personal value to society and 8 out of 10 say they have felt discriminated against at least once in their lifetime. Moreover, 86% of respondents feel they have been unfairly refused a loan at least once in their lives, including because of their social status. Furthermore, 57% of the working population are confident that they will have a decent living after retirement. These are the findings of a quantitative and qualitative research conducted by Novel Research and Izibiz and commissioned by Provident Financial Romania.