News

Daily Newsletter - 10 January 2023

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (2)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Romanian economy is expected to outpace neighbouring states’ economies in 2023
Romanian economy is expected to outpace neighbouring states’ stagnating economies this year. The advance is supported by European funds, the stable currency and foreign investments, partly boosted by the relocation of activities from Russia and Ukraine. According to a Reuters analysis, the International Monetary Fund expects 3.1% expansion for Romania this year. Moreover, the European Commission’s forecast also indicates 1.8% growth, which would place the country well ahead of Poland – expected to grow by only 0.7%, and Hungary, which will face economic slowdown and accelerated rising inflation.
Romania’s trade balance deficit grew by EUR 9.65 billion
Romania’s trade balance deficit (FOB/CIF) was EUR 31 billion during the period 1 January – 30 November 2022, up by 45.2% (+EUR 9.654 billion) year-on-year, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The data also indicate that FOB exports totaled EUR 8.426 billion and CIF imports stood at EUR 11.015 billion in November 2022, thus resulting in a EUR 2.589 billion deficit. Exports grew by 18.8%, while imports increased by 19.3% in November 2022, compared to the corresponding month of 2021.
Local open-end investment funds’ net assets stood at around RON 15 billion in October
Local open-end investment funds’ net assets stood at around RON 15 billion in October, down by 4% against the previous month, according to a report published by the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF). At the end of October 2022, the net assets corresponding to all categories of open-end investment funds were down compared to the previous month (except equity funds). Thus, open-end bond and fixed-income funds had the largest share in total net assets of open-end investment funds (around 54%) and the "other funds" category had a market share of about 22%.
Financial 
First Bank CEO Henk Paardekooper has stated the Romanian banking sector is doing very well
Henk Paardekooper, CEO of First Bank, has stated that the Romanian banking sector is doing very well and 2022 was a very good year, but 2023 will not be as good as last year because things will be more difficult for everyone, due to the high inflation and high interest rates. He has added that the National Bank of Romania (NBR) is doing the right thing by raising the monetary policy rate to fight inflation. As interest rates are growing, some companies will not be able to survive as long as their business model has been based on very low borrowing costs, Mr Paardekooper has pointed out.
Revolut included platinum and palladium among precious metals that can be traded in the app
Financial app Revolut, with 2.5 million individual clients in Romania and over 25 million at global level, has announces the introduction of the precious metals platinum and palladium into its portfolio of investment solutions for users in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The same as gold and silver, investments in platinum and palladium can be transferred to another Revolut client or instantly converted into crypto-currencies or digital fiat currencies for making payments.
Investment 
Finance Ministry borrows EUR 260 million from EIB for 89 investment projects
The Ministry of Finance has signed three financing contracts with the European Investment Bank, totalling more than EUR 260 million, for the modernization of several roads and the refurbishment and expansion of 26 hospitals, to prepare them for potential future pandemics and to support the overburdened public hospital sector. The Ministry has thus signed a EUR 50 million contract for road safety investments, with a five-year drawdown deadline after the signing date.
Alibaba Group to invest over EUR 1 billion in Turkey
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is planning a logistics hub at Istanbul Airport and a data centre near the Turkish capital Ankara with an investment of more than USD 1 billion, its president, Michael Evans, has stated. Turkey’s Sabah newspaper reported Evans as saying in an interview that the company was looking to invest in Europe and the Middle East and that he saw Turkey as a very strong production base.
E.ON has delivered a turnkey 1.1 MW photovoltaic power plant to Transparent Design
E.ON Energie Romania and Transparent Design have recently finalized the construction of a photovoltaic power plant worth nearly EUR 1.6 million, an investment that ensures about 25% of the energy needed by the plant in Popești Leordeni, Ilfov County, according to a press release. The cited source also indicates that the project involved the turnkey delivery by E.ON of a photovoltaic system consisting of 2,784 panels that were installed on the roof of the production unit, of the warehouses and on the ground. The plant, with a nominal installed capacity of 1,286 kWp, will provide around 1,460 MWh of renewable power annually for Transparent Design and will allow a reduction of CO2 emissions of about 367 tons per year.
Legislative 
Smart meters for radiators to become mandatory
The law approving Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 130/2022, amending and completing Law 121/2014 on energy efficiency was promulgated on Monday, 9 January. The law gives clients the opportunity to benefit from the installation of a smart meter, upon request and on fair and reasonable terms, which will provide them with all relevant information. Clients will have access to objective and transparent data on their own consumption and the associated prices and costs of services related to their consumption.
Law extending mandates of members of ANRE’s Regulatory Committee has been promulgated
The Presidential Administration has announced that President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law approving Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 139/2022 on the extension of the mandates of some members of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE)’s Regulatory Committee on Monday, 9 January 2023. The normative act provides for the extension of the aforementioned members’ terms of office for six months, as of 23 October 2022.
Klaus Iohannis promulgated law creating the legal framework for regular maintenance works
On Monday, 9 January 2023, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law amending and completing Law 50/1991 on the authorization of construction works, according to the Presidential Administration. The law aims to create the legal framework necessary for the execution of periodic maintenance and current repair works on the infrastructure of the national water management system ensuring protection against floods, as well as on the corresponding installations, including the banks and embankments of minor riverbeds, with the prior notification of administrative-territorial units, as well as with the obligation to bring investments carried out by third parties based on cooperation protocols/contracts to the original state.
European News 
British foreign minister James Cleverly will seek to resolve post-Brexit trade relations with EU
British foreign minister James Cleverly will on Monday (9 January) seek to inject fresh momentum into talks with the EU on resolving disputes over a post-Brexit trade relationship when he hosts the European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in London. There is growing optimism in Britain and parts of the EU that a resolution is within reach to the long-running dispute that has overshadowed their relations since the United Kingdom left the bloc three years ago. Technical talks between officials resumed in October on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the part of the Brexit deal that mandated checks on some goods moving to the province from the rest of the United Kingdom.
Social 
Romanians facing extreme social exclusion can receive up to RON 10,000 for immediate needs
Minister for Investments and European Projects Marcel Bolos has stated that Romanians facing extreme social exclusion can receive up to RON 10,000 for immediate needs, based on the various forms of support to be granted. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Investments and European Projects (MIPE), RON 1,400 will be provided to help vulnerable people pay their energy bills. Moreover, six new tranches of RON 250 will be granted for the purchase of food and warm meals, which 2.4 million people will benefit from.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in November 2022
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly, to 5.4%, in November 2022, from 5.5% in October, but youth unemployment remained at a significant level, of 22.9%, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics. The number of unemployed (aged 15-74) estimated for November 2022 was 447,700, down from both the previous month (453,200 people) and November 2021 (450.9 thousand people).