News

Daily Newsletter - 24 September 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (2)
Investment (3)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Companies and households’ bank deposits grew by 1.7% in August
Deposits of non-government resident clients grew by 1.7% in August compared to the previous month, to RON 449.9 billion, and were up 15.5% (9.7% in real terms) year-on-year, according to data published by the National Bank of Romania on Thursday, 23 September. Residents’ RON-denominated deposits, accounting for 64.8% of total deposits of non-government clients, increased by 1.9% compared to July 2021, to RON 291.7 billion, and by 16.1% (10.3% in real terms) compared to August 2020. Households’ deposits in RON dropped 0.2% month-on-month, to RON 158.3 billion, and were up 12.6% (7% in real terms) against August 2020.
European Central Bank could end emergency stimulus
European Central Bank policymakers are bracing for inflation to exceed the bank’s already raised estimates, paving the way for it to end its emergency bond purchases in March, sources who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters. The ECB, which plans to make a decision on the future of its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) in December, expects inflation to ease back in 2022-23 after this year’s abnormal bounce as the economy goes back to its pre-pandemic path. But conversations with eight members of the ECB’s Governing Council who asked not to be named showed that many, if not most, felt the new forecasts (which put inflation at 2.2% in 2021, 1.7% in 2022 and 1.5% in 2023) were too low.
Financial 
Raiffeisen Bank, Visa and Trans Sped have concluded a partnership
Raiffeisen Bank, Visa and Trans Sped, a Romanian provider of digital transformation solutions, have concluded a partnership through which the bank’s SME clients can obtain qualified digital signature certificates, under preferential conditions. Clients who hold and purchase an electronic signature using a Visa Business card issued by Raiffeisen Bank will thus benefit from an additional discount, according to the information transmitted by the bank’s representatives on Thursday, 23 September. The qualified digital certificate can be obtained online, without having to go to the bank, using the certified video identification solution in Trans Sped’s portfolio.
The balance of non-government loans grew by 1% in August 2021, to RON 309.7 billion
The balance of non-government loans granted by credit institutions grew by 1% in August 2021 compared to July 2021 (0.8% in real terms), to RON 309.7 billion, according to data published by the National Bank of Romania on Thursday, 23 September. RON-denominated loans, accounting for 71.3% of the total volume of non-government loans, increased by 1.3%, and foreign currency-denominated loans expressed in RON, representing 28.7% of the total non-government loans, were up 0.3% (-0.03% when the indicator is expressed in euro).
Investment 
Someş Water Company has started an over RON 60 million investment project
Someş Water Company, the regional operator for Cluj and Sălaj Counties, has started an investment project worth over RON 60 million (about EUR 12 million) for the construction of a water transportation system from Tarniţa dam, in Cluj County, to Sălaj County. The approximately 68 kilometer long water transportation system on Sălaj territory will cross the cities of Zalău, Jibou, Şimleu Silvaniei and Cehu Silvaniei, but also the communes of Bălan, Surduc, Someş-Odorhei, Sălăţig, Hereclean, Vîrşolţ, Crasna and Pericei, according to a press release issued by Sălaj County Council.
Bega Turism plans to invest EUR 8 million in a high-capacity hotel in Timişoara
Bega Turism, the largest tourism company in Timiş County, controlled by the Cristescu brothers, plans to invest EUR 8 million in a high-capacity hotel in Timişoara, according to company officials. In 2021, Cristescu brothers have invested another EUR 10 million in a 200-room Ibis hotel, inaugurated at the beginning of March. Construction works on the hotel, which operates a space dedicated to events as well, lasted two years and the unit was affiliated to a brand of the Accor group.
Swiss developer Artemis to invest EUR 4 million in a new construction
The Swiss from Artemis, who own five industrial parks near Timişoara, are building a third industrial unit in the park from Sânandrei, spreading on 10.5 hectares. The Swiss company’s investment amounts to approximately EUR 4 million, and the new construction will be delivered at the end of February 2022. The canteen that will serve the entire industrial park will be leased and operated by Pronat, which distributes and produces organic food and cosmetics under its own brand and which also has a factory in the park from Sânandrei, Timiş County. Pronat is owned by Codruţa Petcu and Emanuel Popa.
Legislative 
Draft law capping interest rates on consumer loans was re-submitted for debate in Parliament
The draft law capping interest rates on consumer loans and the sums requested by debt recovery companies was re-submitted for debate in Parliament by Senator Daniel Cătălin Zamfir on Wednesday, 22 September. According to the normative act, non-banking financial institutions cannot request debtors to pay more than double the borrowed amount, thus putting an end to the situations when debtors end up paying even ten times the borrowed sum.
European News 
European Commission proposes a common charger for electronic devices
The European Commission took an important step against e-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices and presented on Thursday, 23 September, a proposal to establish a common charging solution for all relevant devices. According to the revised Radio Equipment Directive, the charging port and fast charging technology will be harmonized: USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles.
Social 
Authorities announced over 10 million doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccine had been administered
Authorities announced on Thursday, 23 September, that the number of 10 million doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccine administered at national level since the beginning of the campaign had been exceeded. More than 5 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered at global level. According to specialists, vaccination remains the most convenient solution to protect oneself against SARS-CoV-2.
Government approves new measures proposed by CNSU amid the Covid-19 pandemic
On Thursday, 23 September, the Government approved, through a Government Decision, the new measures proposed by the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government has thus established, among other things, that people vaccinated against Covid-19 in localities where the incidence rate exceeds 6 per one thousand inhabitants can travel outside their homes/households on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the time interval 20:00 - 5:00.