News

Daily Newsletter - 10 June 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Romania’s trade deficit has exceeded EUR 10 billion
The trade balance deficit (FOB/CIF) stood at EUR 10.013 billion in the first four months of 2022, up by EUR 2.938 billion year-on-year, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS). In April 2022, FOB exports totalled EUR 6.886 billion and CIF imports amounted to EUR 9.711 billion, resulting in a EUR 2.824 billion deficit. Exports grew by 10.4% and imports were up 21.8% in April 2022, compared to April 2021.
Erste group has considerably increased its economic growth forecast for Romania in 2022
Austrian group Erste, owner of BCR, has considerably increased its economic growth forecast for Romania in 2022, estimating 5.1% GDP growth in 2022, compared to 2.8%, as projected by the institution’s analysts in a report presented at the end of April. The change comes as the National Institute of Statistics (INS) confirmed on Wednesday that Romania’s economy had grown by 6.5% y/y in Q1/2022, with trade and services having accounted for most of the advance in the first three months of the year.
Policies based on consumption and budget deficits pushed the country away from euro adoption
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday, 9 June that the policies based on consumption and budget deficits, practised before the pandemic and the economic crisis, had pushed Romania away from strategic country objectives, such as accession to euro area, and were currently making the fight against inflation more difficult. He pointed out that changing the development model meant turning investments into the zero priority. In this regard, he said that the budget allocation of nearly 7% of GDP for investments must be maintained.
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă received the IMF delegation at Victoria Palace on Thursday
On Thursday, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă received the International Monetary Fund delegation, who has come to Romania for its annual evaluation mission, at Victoria Palace. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă appreciated the positive assessments of the International Monetary Fund mission, as well as the guidance given at fiscal policy level in order to reduce deficits and ensure healthy economic growth, in the difficult context generated at European and international level by the effects of the recent crises.
Financial 
BRD has increased interest rates on household deposits up to 6%
BRD-SocGen has increased the interest rates applicable to household deposits, which can even reach 6% in the case of the "Progresso" one-year deposit with a progressive interest rate. The interest rate for the first six months of the "Progresso" deposit is thus 3.3%, and reaches 6% for the next six months, i.e. after 1 year. Moreover, the bank has indicated that interest rates for standard RON-denominated term deposits have been increased for all maturities. As a result, the interest rate for standard three-month retail deposits is 3%, the one for six-month deposits has grown to 3.5%, the interest for the one-year maturity is 4.10%, and the one for the two-year maturity has reached 4.3%.
Grawe Romania has increased its share capital by RON 19.4 million
Grawe Romania, the local subsidiary of the Austrian insurance group Grawe, has increased its share capital by RON 19.4 million, to RON 120.4 million. The funds will be used for the underwriting activity on the general insurance segment. The company had previously performed another RON 30 million capital increase. Underwritten general and life insurance premiums totalled RON 293.66 million in 2021, up from RON 184.43 million in 2020, according to company data.
BCR is selling a massive new bonds issue
Banca Comercială Română, one of the most constant issuers on Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE)’s bonds segment, is selling a new corporate bonds issue, thus bringing the issuer’s stock of such instruments to RON 3.7 billion. The new issue has been placed with ten qualified investors and will become available for trading on the secondary market from BSE as well. The nominal value is RON 100.
Investment 
CTP to invest EUR 36 million in Oradea in the first air cargo terminal in Romania
CTP, the biggest owner and developer of logistics and industrial spaces in Continental Europe, has started construction works on CTPark Oradea Cargo Terminal, the first industrial park with a cargo terminal in Romania, located close to Oradea Airport and to Eurobusiness II industrial park. The first stage of the project consisted in building the connection between the aircraft taxiway and the aircraft parking platform. The project will be finalized in 2023.
Theta Furniture&More opened its own plant in Păulești, following EUR 4 million investment
Theta Furniture&More, one of the main players on the market of interior design and custom-made furniture, invested EUR 4 million in its own 5,000 square meter plant, located in Păulești Commune, Prahova County. The company’s production had previously been located in Prahova as well, in Blejoi, in a rented space. Since March this year, production has moved to the new unit, and company officials plan to employ about 12 people this year.
So!Coffee network has been expanded by five more cafés
Lagardère Travel Retail has announced the expansion of the So!Coffee network by five more cafés. The chain currently consists of 12 cafés, located in airports, train stations, shopping centers and shopping galleries in Bucharest-Ilfov, Cluj, Timisoara and Sibiu areas. Customers in DN1 Value Center can thus enjoy an extended unit with an indoor area plus a terrace. Moreover, So!Coffee is present in Timișoara Shopping City with the first island format, and the space in Auchan Drumul Taberei is in a compact form, based on the on-the-go philosophy. EUR 300,000 was invested for the opening of the new units.
Legislative 
Government is discussing OUG on implementation of international sanctions amid Ukraine war
During the meeting on Thursday, 9 June, the Government discussed a draft emergency ordinance on measures to ensure the continuity of the EU sanctions regime imposed amid the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, without prejudicing the activity of some companies in Romania. The draft had been debated in a first reading during Wednesday’s government meeting. On Thursday also, Ciucă Cabinet analyzed a draft emergency ordinance on some measures for filling vacant and temporarily vacant public positions with attributions in the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
USR has submitted a draft law aimed at increasing road safety
MP Cristian Ichim, from Save Romania Union (USR), has submitted a draft law amending and adapting the legislation on driving schools’ functioning so that drivers can be better trained and more responsible in traffic. The draft-law – whose co-initiators USR Senator Anca Dragu and Liberal (PNL) MP Ioan Cupșa are - amends and completes Government Emergency Ordinance 195/2002 on traffic on public roads and aims to improve road safety.
European News 
Romania was one of the largest arms exporters in the world
During communism, the Romanian state was one of the world’s top exporters of arms, with a 230,000-strong workforce. Today the public sector employs just 10,000 people, its factories are in debt, and stakeholders are uncertain about the future. At a time when Europe needs to step up its defense, EU member Romania’s public sector arms industry is desperately trying to regain ground. Meanwhile, the private sector is thriving, leading former economy minister Claudiu Năsui to suggest that a possible solution could be privatization.
Social 
One in two Romanian children spends up to six hours a week online
One in two Romanian children spends up to six hours a week online, according to a study. In Spain, Romania and Russia, the average time spent in front of a screen is higher than in other countries. South Korea is the country with the highest average of online learning activities. The study targeted people with children aged 4-12, with different levels of education, income and jobs.
Household spending on fast-moving consumer goods grew by 7% in Romania in Q1/2022
Household spending on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) grew by 7% in Romania in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period of last year, amid the accelerating rise in food prices, according to GfK Consumer Panels & Services data. As a comparison, the increase in the value of the FMCG market was 1.2% in 2021 compared to the previous year. This is the second consecutive quarter when shoppers have migrated towards products in the lower price segments (the down-trade phenomenon), especially in non-food categories, in response to the growing inflationary pressures.