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Daily Newsletter - 1 March 2021

Summary

FIC Daily Newsletter | 01.03.2021
Macroeconomic (3) || Financial (3) || Investment (3) || Legislative (2) || Politics (2) || Social (2)
Budget has passed Parliament’s specialized committees
The Parliament’s Budget-Finance Committees issued a favorable report on the draft Budget, with 25 votes “for” and 16 “against”, on Saturday. The draft will be debated during the Parliament’s plenary session on Monday, 1 March, in the form adopted by the Government, without adopted amendments. The amendments left to be discussed will also be debated on Monday, but no changes are expected before the final vote.
Romanian economy could grow by 4.2% this year
Romanian economy could grow by 4.2% this year, after the 3.9% contraction recorded in 2020, according to estimates published by Erste Group in a report on economic prospects in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This optimism is based, among other things, on the fact that the population’s anti-Covid-19 vaccination rate is moderately, yet constantly growing.
Romania’s Economic Sentiment Indicator grew in February 2020
Romania’s Economic Sentiment Indicator grew in February 2020, for the third consecutive month, by 1.9 points, having reached 90.8 points, compared to 89.9 points in January, the highest level of the past 11 months, according to indicators calculated by the European Commission. Prior to the decline recorded in October and November, Romania’s Economic Sentiment Indicator had increased for five months in a row, an advance associated with the recovery from the economic and social lockdown amid Covid-19.
This year, the “New Home” program will have a lower ceiling than last year
This year, the “New Home” program will have a RON 500,000 lower ceiling than last year, Cristian Păun, chairman of the National Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (FNGCIMM)’s Board of Directors, announced on Friday. Two categories of loans for new dwellings are granted through this program, namely loans of up to EUR 140,000 with 15% down-payment and 60% state guarantee, and of EUR 70,000 with 5% down-payment and 50% state guarantee.
BCR’s profit grew by 37.2% in 2020
BCR, the second biggest bank in Romania asset-wise, recorded a RON 814.1 million (EUR 168.3 million) net profit last year, up by 37.2% against 2019, amid the sustained advance of lending and a higher operating result. The net profit of 2019 was affected by an exceptional provision formed in connection to BCR Banca pentru Locuințe’s activity in Q2 of 2019.
Ministry of Finance plans to borrow RON 3.85 billion
The Ministry of Finance (MF) plans to borrow RON 3.4 billion from commercial banks in March 2021, of which RON 400 million through an issue of discount treasury certificates and RON 3 billion through eight government bond issues. The amount of RON 450 million through additional sessions of non-competitive offers, corresponding to bond auctions, can add to these. The sum is RON 1.35 billion below the one scheduled in February 2021 (RON 5.2 billion).
Budget allocated to Ministry of Transport stands at RON 14.1 billion
The budget allocated to the Ministry of Transport stands at RON 14.1 billion, up by 9.4% against 2020, according to the draft State Budget approved by the Government. RON 1.4 billion has been allocated for transport infrastructure maintenance in the draft Budget, according to Transport Minister Cătălin Drulă.
Ferma cu Omenie cheese producer from Alba County is planning an investment
Ferma cu Omenie cheese producer from Alba County is planning a EUR 4.3 million phased investment in the town of Ocna Mureş, targeting a new logistics unit by 2022 and a new plant by 2025, Marius Bîcu, the general manager of Ferma cu Omenie, has explained. The company produces cheese in Unirea locality, Alba County, which it sells under the De la Ferma brand on the local market and under the Pachetul de Acasă brand on the external market.
TeraPlast finalized the sale of its Steel division to the Irish from Kingspan Group
TeraPlast group has finalized the transaction through which it sold its steel products division to the Irish group Kingspan Group for RON 373 million. The profit generated by the transaction with Kingspan will be included in the financial reports for Q1 of 2021. Moreover, the RON 165 million investments in TeraPlast and Somplast scheduled for this year will generate an even 50% increase in certain activities’ production capacity.
Public sector employees will be allowed to work until the age of 70, but will not receive a pension as well
Public sector employees will be able to opt for working until the age of 70 and benefit from a salary, but will not receive a pension as well during this period, Labor Minister Raluca Turcan has stated. The provisions will be included into the draft law to ban cumulating the state pension with the public sector salary, which has almost been finalized.
Draft law on digital wallet providers’ authorization is being drawn up
The authorization and/or registration, as well as the granting and withdrawal of the technical permit in the case of providers of virtual and fiat currency exchange services and of digital wallet providers is established by Government Decision, drawn up by the Ministry of Finance (MF) together with the Authority for Romania’s Digitalization and with the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering, based on the Home Affairs Ministry and the National Consumer Protection Authority’s opinion. According to the Finance Ministry’s representatives, the aforementioned draft Government Decision is being elaborated and will be finalized as soon as possible.
PNL First Vice-President Rareș Bogdan supports Prime Minister Florin Cîțu
National Liberal Party (PNL)’s First Vice-President Rareș Bogdan has stated that he will not hesitate to attack any person who will boycott Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, whom he fully supports, saying that there is enough public tension and that, as soon as the budget has been approved, unforeseen things may appear both inside PNL and inside the ruling coalition. Rareș Bogdan has added that PNL is sometimes bothered by “young colleagues’ quick temper”.
Mr. Orban announces new financing program for local administrations
A program drawn up by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) on local projects’ financing, known as PNDL - National Local Development Program, will be launched during the Liberal governing as well, PNL president Ludovic Orban announced during a regional political meeting in Focsani on the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism as well as on certain financing opportunities. Mr. Orban said that it was not yet clear what the program would look like, but there would be debates starting from the second half of 2021 to establish the principles for financing local projects so that there would be no "political discrimination."
Education Minister insists that students from the 8th and the 12th grades should go to school
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu announced on Saturday evening that he would propose that students from the 8th and the 12th grades, who must take national exams, should physically attend classes even if schools entered the red scenario. National exams will take place with physical presence, because an online evaluation could leave room for fraud, the Minister explained.