Romania continues to rank last in the European Union in terms of waste collection, recycling and recovery. In this context, the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), the organization that reunites the largest Romanian companies with foreign capital, has identified 18 difficulties in the application of waste legislation and has come up with several proposed solutions. FIC Board members, Paris Nikolopoulos and Mircea Moga coordinate FIC activities related to environmental protection.
The delegation of representatives of the Coalition for Romania’s Development (CDR) coordinated by Daniel Anghel (FIC Board member) met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Bogdan Aurescu on Thursday, 10 November. Participants discussed, among other things, how the business sector can collaborate with the Romanian Government to promote Romania’s accession to the Schengen area. Minister Aurescu appreciated CDR representatives’ interest and readiness in supporting Romania’s joining the border-free area and in taking complementary actions that add to the political, diplomatic and technical steps taken by Romanian authorities to achieve this objective.
The number of new companies with foreign investments founded in the first nine months of 2022 in Romania grew by 33% year-on-year, having reached 5,523, according to data from the National Trade Register Office. New companies’ foreign capital decreased by 6.2% per year, to a total of USD 31 billion (EUR 31.66 billion) during the aforementioned period. Moreover, 692 foreign-funded companies were registered in Romania in September alone, up by 25% against the previous year. The results of the FIC Business Sentiment Index, autumn edition, 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.
Annual inflation rate slightly decreased in October, to 15.3%, after having reached a peak of 15.9% in September, considering that food prices grew by 20% compared to October 2021 and non-food goods were 14% more expensive, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday. Furthermore, prices of services rose by 8.3%. Consumer prices increased by 1.3% in October compared to September. The biggest year-on-year price increases were recorded in gas - 40%, electricity - 27%, plane tickets - 28%, and, among food products, in sugar - 62%, oil - 43%, butter - 40%, potatoes, - 40%, flour and cornmeal - 34%, milk and cheese - 27-28%, bread - 26%, fish - 20%.
The European Commission expects Romania’s real GDP to grow by 5.8% in 2022, a major upward revision from the 3.9% summer forecast and the 2.6% spring estimate. The data comes considering that Romanian economy expanded by 5.7% year-on-year in H1/2022. In particular, private consumption and investments grew strongly as pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, allowing pent-up demand to catch up. In addition, a strong labor market with higher employment and wage growth supported disposable incomes, as did government measures to mitigate the impact of high energy prices.
The average net wage in economy stood at RON 4,003 in September, up by RON 70 (1.8%) against the previous month. The highest net salary was recorded in activities related to the manufacture of coke and oil products (RON 16,085) and the lowest one was reported in hotels and restaurants (RON 2,233), according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday, 11 November. In the public sector, the average net wage grew in September 2022 compared to the previous month in education (+8.8%, following the resumed hourly pay for teachers) and in public administration (+1%). Moreover, average net earnings in healthcare and social assistance slightly decreased compared to August 2022 (-0.4%).
Omniasig will once again insure international airline Tarom’s fleet after having won the tender for the provision of Casco optional insurance policies for the aircraft fleet and of insurance policies targeting liability towards passengers, cargo and third parties, according to information transmitted by company representatives. The Casco policy, which covers all risks, including spare parts and equipment, and the civil liability policy will enter into force on 1 December 2022 and will be valid until 30 November 2023, Omniasig representatives have also indicated.
Allianz Group, the main shareholder of Allianz-Tiriac insurance company, ended the first nine months of 2022 with EUR 116 billion revenues, up by 5.3% year-on-year, while its operating profit reached EUR 10.2 billion, up by 3.2% compared to the first nine months of 2021, according to Allianz. Supported by the good performance of the general insurance segment, Allianz’s operating profit and net revenues demonstrate the benefits of global scale and diversification as well as the group’s customer-centered strategy, Allianz SE CEO Oliver Bäte has transmitted.
OTP Bank Romania launched the 2022 Black Friday campaign for individuals and entrepreneurs on Friday, 11 November. It offers a promotional interest rate for a limited number of clients, namely 9.75%, on three- or six-month term deposits. There are five hundred places available within the promotion. Entrepreneurs benefit from zero costs for the entire duration of the contracts signed under the campaign.
BT Group’s consolidated net profit stood at RON 1.678 billion at the end of Q3/2022, of which RON 1.441 billion represented the bank’s profit. The net profit of subsidiaries and equity holdings amounted to about RON 237 million, according to a press release. The cited source also indicates that Banca Transilvania Financial Group’s assets reached RON 141 billion, up by 6.6% against the level recorded at the beginning of the year. Banca Transilvania’s loans grew to RON 63.2 billion. Compared to the beginning of the year, net loans to legal entities increased by nearly 32%, to RON 27.2 billion and net loans to individuals were up 7.4%, to RON 27.6 billion.
The Domnești Passage in Bucharest was opened to traffic on Friday. It required an investment of over RON 90 million, VAT not included, which has eliminated a traffic bottleneck in Bucharest. Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated that the opening of the passage had been awaited for several years. The overpass from Domnești, configured as a suspended roundabout, is located at the crossroads between Prelungirea Ghencea Street - DJ602 County Road and Bucharest Ring Road.
Continental has finalized construction works on the third expansion of its electronic components plant in Timişoara, following an approximately EUR 40 million investment, according to a press release. With the new investment, the production area will grow by more than 7,000 square meters, which means an over 60% increase in space (the production area will reach about 18,000 square meters). Moreover, parking spaces, a technical area, offices and a green area have also been added.
Zimmer Biomet, a US medical technology company, is to open a branch in Romania and plans to recruit minimum 25 people in the first year. The manufacturer has announced EUR 3.5 million investments for 2023. Zimmer Biomet Romania has leased a space in the Paris building in Sema Parc, a project developed by River Development. Zimmer Biomet Holdings was founded in 1927 in Indiana, USA, has offices in 31 countries and operations in more than 100.
The Government met on Friday, 11 November to approve the Emergency Ordinance regulating electricity prices. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă had transmitted on Thursday that the price of RON 1/KW would be maintained for SMEs and large consumers would pay RON 1.3/KW and had indicated that those technical elements were to be included in a draft Emergency Ordinance. The draft Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) amends OUG 27/2022 regarding measures applicable to end-consumers on the electricity and gas market for the period 1 April 2022-31 March 2023.
Coal and gas-fired electricity producers in Romania, who are obliged by EU legislation to purchase greenhouse gas (CO2) emission certificates, will benefit from subsidies on the costs incurred with the acquisition of certificates corresponding to electricity sales made at a regulated price of RON 450/MWh, based on the centralized energy purchase mechanism introduced by the Government through an emergency ordinance from 1 January 2023 until 31 March 2025. Energy producers are currently surcharged through the so-called "contribution to the Energy Transition Fund" for everything they cash from wholesale sales made at prices above RON 450/MWh, for the part exceeding this price.
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă has announced that the Government is to approve an emergency ordinance that will standardize bonuses for personnel in public institutions and/or authorities working on projects financed from European funds. He has indicated that those working with funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) are paid from the state budget, while the money for persons working with cohesion funds is ensured through those European funds.
The EU’s cyber defense policy was presented by the EU executive and diplomatic branches on Thursday (10 November) as a response to rising geopolitical tensions resulting from Russian aggression in Ukraine. The cyber defense policy is a strategic document intended to strengthen European cybersecurity capacity, boost military and civilian cooperation, close potential security loopholes, reduce strategic dependencies and develop cyber skills.
Childcare insertion incentives paid in September 2022 totaled RON 65.28 million, the average amount granted having been RON 756.14, according to data centralized by the National Agency for Social Payments and Inspection (ANPIS). There were 86,343 beneficiaries of childcare insertion incentives registered in September, the most being in Bucharest - 12,263 and in Cluj - 4,249, Timiș - 4,114 and Iași - 3,790 counties. The highest average amount paid in May (current entitlements) was recorded in Botoșani County – RON 894.46, and the lowest one was in Bucharest - RON 684.14.
The total number of pensioners who benefitted from social allowance was 1,145,877 in October 2022, 1,096 fewer than in the previous month, according to data centralized by the National House of Public Pensions (CNPP). Of these, 1,026,421 were pensioners from the public system and 119,456 were pensioners from the former farmers’ pension system. In the case of public system pensioners, the average amount of the allowance paid from the state budget was RON 375. The highest values were recorded in Bistrița-Năsăud Count (RON 434), Maramureș County (RON 430) and Cluj County (RON 417).