News

Daily Newsletter - 10 June 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Average spot price of energy traded on OPCOM was about EUR 59 per MWh last month
The average spot price of energy traded on the OPCOM exchange was about EUR 59 per MWh last month, 2.3 times higher than in the same period of 2020. The main factors to have contributed to this advance were the recovery of demand and the unprecedented increase in the costs of CO2 emissions certificates. Since the beginning of the year, Romania has consolidated its energy importer status, with a maximum of 20% of consumption amid the shutdown of a reactor from Cernavodă, but it has also become a significant gas importer.
Exports grew by 19.9% in the first four months of 2021
Exports grew by 19.9% and imports were up 18.9% during the period 1 January – 30 April 2021, compared to the similar interval of 2020. Trade balance deficit (FOB/CIF) stood at EUR 7,059.8 million between 1 January and 30 April 2021, up by EUR 957.5 million year-on-year.
Financial 
ING Bank has invested over EUR 3 million in the Startarium platform in the past five years
Over the past five years, ING Bank has invested more than EUR 3 million in the Startarium platform, launched together with Impact Hub, meant to support start-ups by providing them with the necessary tools for business development, from idea implementation to business scaling. Since 2016 up to present, Startarium has supported over 5,000 businesses, and more than 100 Romanian entrepreneurs have benefited from free guidance from mentors to accelerate the development of their start-ups.
BRD-SocGen deferred loan instalments for more than 50,000 people
BRD-SocGen, the third biggest bank on the local market asset-wise, had deferred loan instalments for more than 50,000 people by the end of the period when moratorium applications could be submitted in 2021, and most clients resumed payment after the expiry of the deferral period, according to Radu Topliceanu, Deputy CEO - Head of Retail Banking at BRD-SocGen. In 2021, demand for such measures was much lower than in 2020.
NBR did not purchase RON-denominated government bonds from secondary market in May
The National Bank of Romania (NBR) no longer bought RON-denominated government bonds from the secondary market in May, after the RON 247.4 million cumulated purchases from March and April, according to the statistical report published by the central bank. The acquisitions from the past months were made amid the higher long-term financing costs demanded by financiers, given the recalibration of inflationary and economic evolution expectations, both at local and at global level, recalibrations that generated turbulences and interest rate increases on most sovereign debt markets.
Investment 
Alusystem enters the residential building materials market
After having consolidated its leading position in the execution of facades and curtain walls on the office segment, Alusystem, part of the Bog’Art group, is innovating in the area of aluminium joinery for the residential market. The company has launched a new type of aluminium joinery for residential projects, through which it offers premium quality, specific to office buildings, for affordable prices, similar to PVC joinery. About EUR 1 million has been invested so far in the new production line.
Orşova Shipyard has concluded two contracts worth a total of EUR 5.22 million
Orşova Shipyard (SNO) has concluded two contracts for the construction and delivery of two river vessels, worth a total of EUR 5.22 million. The buyers are the Dutch companies Rensen-Driessen Shipbuilding and TEAMCO Shipyard. Delivery deadlines are 31 July 2022, and 31 March 2022 respectively, in Rotterdam. Payment will be made through a down-payment from the value of the contract.
Electrica group plans to make RON 639 million investments this year
Distributie Energie Electrică Romania (DEER), part of Electrica Group, announced yesterday that it planned to make RON 639 million investments this year. About 28% of these investments target energy efficiency works, 22% will cover works to improve the quality of the distribution service (continuity of supply and energy quality) and 27% target works to create conditions for consumers’ connection.
Legislative 
War invalids, veterans and widows receive gratitude allowance
During yesterday’s meeting, the Government adopted an Emergency Ordinance completing Law no. 49/1991 on the granting of allowances and bonuses to war invalids, veterans and widows. Through the adopted normative act, war invalids, veterans and widows are granted a monthly non-taxable gratitude allowance amounting to 50% of the average gross wage used to substantiate the state social security budget corresponding to the year when the payment is made. The value of this gratitude allowance is RON 2,690 per month for 2021.
Government will be allowed to issue ordnances during parliamentary recess
Yesterday, the Senate adopted, as the first notified chamber, with amendments, the draft law allowing the Government to issue ordinances during parliamentary recess, between July and August. The Legal Affairs Committee adopted several amendments, including the one eliminating from the list of normative acts to be adopted by the Government through ordinances, during the parliamentary recess, the one establishing temporary measures for the State Assets Management Authority’s functioning.
European News 
Parliament approves COVID certificate
The European Parliament voted in favour of the EU digital COVID certificate on Tuesday (8 June), bringing the EU one step closer to finalising the initiative due to come into force on 1 July and facilitate travel across the bloc. The text still needs to be formally adopted by the 27 member states in the Council, signed into law and published in the EU’s Official Journal. It will be in place for 12 months.
Social 
Prime Minister announces OUG to postpone the increase in children’s allowances
Prime Minister Florin Cîțu has announced that the Government will issue an Emergency Ordinance (OUG) to postpone the increase in children’s allowances and that the next increase will take place next year. The Prime Minister has added that allowances will no longer increase by the calendar established last year, as the economic context has changed and the Government is trying to reduce the deficit, an effort "everyone must contribute to".
Raed Arafat recommends Romanians not to spend their holidays in countries with high epidemic risk
The head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat stated yesterday that a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was not excluded and recommended Romanians not to spend their holidays in countries with high epidemic risk. The Secretary of State in the Home Affairs Ministry mentioned there were currently no problems regarding the number of intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients.