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Daily Newsletter - 11 March 2021

Summary

FIC Daily Newsletter | 11.03.2021
Macroeconomic (3) || Financial (2) || Investment (4) || Legislative (2) || European News (1) || Social (2)
Digital economy contributed 16% to Romania’s GDP formation in 2019
The digitalization of certain areas of activity such as agriculture, financial services, transport and logistics, healthcare services, telecommunications, utilities and production has contributed considerably to the advance of digital economy and the doubling of GDP contribution percentage, the impact having been estimated at 16% in 2019, according to the ANIS study conducted by Ernst & Young. According to the narrowed definition, digital economy’s contribution to GDP formation in Romania was estimated at 8.6% in 2019, below the EU average, yet relatively in line with neighboring countries.
Net investments made in national economy totaled RON 106,195.3 million in 2020
Net investments made in the national economy totaled RON 106,195.3 million in 2020, a marginal increase (+ 0.1%) compared to the previous year. However, the amounts allocated for equipment and machinery decreased as a share in the total sum, and the result for Q4/2020 was slightly weaker than in Q4/2019 (-0.6%), which indicates a negative trend.
Romania’s GDP per capita decreased by 2.1% last year
Romania’s GDP per capita decreased by 2.1% last year, according to the provisional data published by Eurostat for all European Union member states. The decline is much lower than the one of GDP in real terms (-3.9%) following the relatively moderate exchange rate depreciation and the decrease in the population the economic result was related to.
Banking system’s restructuring continued in 2020
Banking system’s restructuring continued in 2020, a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, banks on the Romanian market reached 52,650 employees, and the number of branches decreased to 3,835. A number of 183 branches and banking agencies were closed and 456 employees left the system in 2020, according to data transmitted by the National Bank of Romania upon Ziarul Financiar’s request.
Finance Ministry to grant RON 1 billion state guarantees through "SME Factor" in 2021
Supporting SMEs is a priority amid the uncertainties generated by the pandemic and, through the SME Factor program, through which the Ministry of Finance will provide RON 1 billion state guarantees, they will have access to flexible and rapid financing, Finance Minister Alexandru Nazare has stated. The financing is granted by the banks enrolled in the program, based on invoices, within a renewable financing ceiling, guaranteed by the state, through the Ministry of Finance.
Extruded products processor Vimetco Extrusion to invest EUR 10 million in expansion
Alro, the biggest aluminum producer in Romania and one of the largest aluminum manufacturers in Europe, has announced that Vimetco Extrusion, the subsidiary in charge of the extruded products business line, is to invest EUR 10 million in increasing production capacity in Slatina. The project is financed through a commercial loan and an investment loan and consists in the acquisition and installation of an automated extrusion line, supplied by Presezzi Extrusion spa, equipped with the necessary technology for operating with reduced human interventions.
IRUM invested EUR 3 million in the development of its plant in Reghin
IRUM, a company controlled by Oltean family from Reghin, has finalized EUR 3 million investments in increasing agricultural and forestry machinery production capacities, following the construction of a new unit and the acquisition of equipment for mechanical gear processing. In the plant in Reghin, IRUM manufactures agricultural tractors and articulated forestry tractors, agricultural machinery, loaders, conveyors, forest road maintenance equipment, and their corresponding parts.
HELLA opens a new development center in Romania
HELLA, a global company which manufactures products for the automotive industry, has been expanding its activities in the software and electronics sectors. The most recent example is the new development and testing center opened in Craiova, a step towards a new expansion phase for the German group. HELLA Technical Center Craiova has about 370 employees at present.
HAGAG Development Europe has started modernization works on H Tudor Arghezi 21
Real estate developer HAGAG Development Europe has started modernization works on the property it owns in the University area of Bucharest. H Tudor Arghezi 21 is the second project dedicated to the office spaces segment the company has developed on the local market, and the investment in the building’s reconversion amounts to over EUR 4 million, according to a press release sent to the editorial office. The project already has a 100% occupancy rate.
Oil law has been amended on grounds of national security
The Government can unilaterally terminate oil agreements, for national security reasons, after the Chamber of Deputies approved an Emergency Ordinance in this direction, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu announced yesterday. According to him, the amendments brought to the normative act have consolidated national security, by transposing a European Directive which stipulates that EU member states may refuse, on grounds of national security, to allow access to and exercise of these activities to any entity which is effectively controlled by third countries or third country nationals.
Government is preparing to reduce personnel expenditure
Labor Minister Raluca Turcan stated yesterday that the future Salary Law would cap bonuses to 20% of a public sector employee’s basic salary and would limit the categories of employees to benefit from them. This means a minimum 33% reduction of total bonuses granted to public sector employees. Each budget funds manager can currently grant bonuses of up to 30% of salary allocations.
Remote work needs to be regulated ‘quickly’
Portugal’s deputy secretary of state for labour, Miguel Cabrita, urged EU countries on Tuesday (9 March) to move fast with plans to regulate remote working, saying quick action will maximise opportunities and minimise risks. Speaking at a high-level conference on the future of work organised by Portugal’s EU Presidency, Cabrita stressed the importance of finding a balance between opportunities and risks of remote working. He defended the need “to move quickly towards regulation of this model that is no longer new,” but which has become widespread due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scandal generated by the publishing of anti-Covid-19 vaccination data by the Health Ministry continues
The scandal generated by the publishing of anti-Covid-19 vaccination data by the Health Ministry has revealed that thousands of people allegedly got vaccinated even though they were not included in the current stage of the vaccination campaign, and some military personnel’s relatives were among them. On 20 January, however, the Government adopted a decision allowing family members of personnel working in institutions part of the national defense, public order and national security system to get vaccinated in this stage, in vaccination centers allocated to their own system.