News

Daily Newsletter - 11 October 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (2)
Investment (3)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Macroeconomic 
Food trade will reach EUR 25 billion by 2025
Online will account for 2% of food trade by 2025, more than double than in 2020, but the absolute winner of this period will be the discount segment which will reach a 38% market share, according to an analysis of research and analysis company Roland Berger. Convenience, modern proximity stores to be more exact, will gain ground, while hypermarkets and traditional trade will follow a downward trend, according to the same source. However, the total market is also expected to grow during the aforementioned period (2020-2025), by an average of 5% per year, from EUR 19 billion last year to EUR 25 billion in 2025.
An ECB official expects inflation to decrease below 2% by the end of 2022
Francois Villeroy de Galhau, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, has stated that he expects inflation rate in the euro area to grow in the coming months, but to decrease below 2% by the end of 2022. Mr. Villeroy, who is also the Governor of Banque de France, has pointed out that the increase in inflation is temporary, as it is linked to the rising energy prices and other developments, and business leaders have already told him that a decrease can be noticed in the prices of certain raw materials.
Number of dissolved companies increased by 13.35% in the first eight months of 2021
The number of dissolved companies increased by 13.35% in the first eight months of this year, to 19,306, compared to 17,032 during the period January - August 2020, according to data centralized by the National Trade Register Office (ONRC). The most dissolutions were recorded in Bucharest, namely 3,589 companies (up by 12.65%) and in the counties of Constanţa (947, +12.74%), Iaşi (877, +41.68%) and Timiş (873, -4.17%). At the other end of the classification, the fewest company dissolutions were reported in the counties of Covasna, (111, +10%), Mehedinţi (122, + 16.19%) and Vaslui (126, +5.88%). Motor vehicles and motorcycles repair, wholesale and retail trade was the sector to have recorded the most dissolved companies in the first eight months of 2021, namely 5,864.
Romania obtained over EUR 1.3 billion from grain exports in H1 of 2021
Romania obtained over EUR 1.3 billion from grain exports in H1 of 2021, up by nearly 3% year-on-year. As a comparison, EUR 1.26 billion cereals were exported to EU and non-EU countries in the first six months of 202. The largest amounts were obtained from exports to third countries, namely EUR 789.3 million, while deliveries inside the community bloc generated an increase of EUR 511.1 million.
Financial 
Raiffeisen Asset Management became the largest mutual funds administrator in Romania
Raiffeisen Asset Management (RAM), the company which specializes in the management of Raiffeisen group’s investment funds in Romania, became the largest mutual funds administrator on the local market after the company’s assets had exceeded RON 6 billion at the end of August. The assets managed by Raiffeisen Asset Management thus grew by over RON 800 million compared to the end of last year. The highest growth rate of assets was recorded by equity and mixed funds - with a shares component, which currently total over RON 1 billion.
CEC Bank is the first bank in Romania to offer Braille documents for consultation
CEC Bank is the first bank in Romania to offer Braille documents for consultation to visually impaired clients. With the help of these documents, clients have access to information about the bank’s offer - costs and fees and contractual conditions. The sets of documents have already been distributed in over 1,000 CEC Bank units and can be consulted by visually impaired individuals requesting products/services included in the bank’s offer.
Investment 
Alka to invest EUR 10 million in production
Croissants, biscuits and wafers producer Alka Trading Co, whose portfolio includes brands such as Alfers and Toortizi, plans to make RON 10.5 million investments, with RON 5.26 million co-financing through state aid, according to Government Decision no. 807/2014 from the end of the H1 of 2021. The project is soon to be launched. At the beginning of the year, the company’s officials said they planned to invest RON 15 million this year and to employ more than 100 people, thus reaching 867 employees. The main investment projects they have established for 2021 are the increase in production capacities at the factory in Ploieşti, investments in their private brands, both for the local market and for external markets, and investments in infrastructure.
General Electric will invest EUR 30 million in the central part of Hungary
Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto has announced that General Electric will invest 10 billion forints (EUR 27.8 million) to expand its turbines plant in Veresegyhaz, in the central part of Hungary, according to Daily News Hungary. One hundred new jobs will be created following the investment.
Early Game Ventures has announced the signing of a EUR 1.8 million investment
Early Game Ventures (EGV) (earlygame.vc) has announced the signing of a EUR 1.8 million investment with Kinderpedia (kinderpedia.co), the complete digital communication and management solution for schools and kindergartens built in Romania and recognized in Europe for innovation and social impact. Existing investors, such as RocaX and Growceanu and business angels participated in the round of investments, according to a press release. Kinderpedia is an innovative education platform, which provides the entire digital infrastructure needed for educational institutions to work in a smart way and to communicate efficiently and transparently, both in the classroom and online. More than 2,000 schools and kindergartens in 14 countries on three continents, totalling about 200,000 users, are registered on Kinderpedia.
Legislative 
President of the Senate, Anca Dragu submitted a legislative initiative in Parliament
On Friday, 8 October, the President of the Senate, Anca Dragu submitted a legislative initiative in Parliament, introducing clear criteria for allocating the money from the Government’s Budget Reserve Fund, as well as a transparent allocation mechanism, after the interim government led by Florin Cîţu had allocated RON 1 billion to local authorities, and PSD and USR had accused that the money had been distributed based on political criteria. Mrs Dragu indicated, in an official press release, that she had submitted the legislative initiative so that Romanians’ money should no longer be distributed based on the interests of the Prime Minister or of the party leaders who supported him, but also to stop the exponential increase in the amounts distributed from the Reserve fund.
European News 
EU wins battle at UN rights Council to create a new special rapporteur on Afghanistan
The European Union on Thursday, 7 October won its battle at the UN Human Rights Council to create a new special rapporteur on Afghanistan, despite opposition from China, Russia and Pakistan. The rapporteur will be responsible for monitoring the rights situation in the country following the Taliban takeover, and will make recommendations on improvements.
Social 
CNR wants access to university areas to be allowed based on the digital green certificate
The National Council of Rectors (CNR) has requested the Government/Parliament to modify the legislative framework so that access to university areas should only be allowed based on the digital green certificate, except for persons with medical contraindications. This is one of the requests of CNR, which had a working meeting in Brasov, on 8-10 October. CNR has also requested the Government/Parliament to supplement the institutional financing, given the impact of the increase in the minimum wage starting from 1 January 2022 and the growing utility prices, but also to supplement the funding aimed at supporting research in Romanian universities.
EU will send 250 oxygen concentrators to Romania
Janez Lenarčič, the Commissioner for Crisis Management, has stated that the European Union is to send 250 oxygen concentrators through the Civil Protection Mechanism to treat Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms in Romania. The Commissioner has indicated that 200 of these devices will come from Netherlands’ rescEU (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) reserves and 50 from Poland.
Education Minister says there is a legal framework allowing schools to switch to online activity
Interim Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has stated that there currently is a legal framework allowing schools to decide to switch to online activity if this is established by the educational unit’s Board of Directors, together with the Public Health Directorate, in response to concerns publicly manifested by the National Council of Students. Moreover, he has pointed out that the teaching activity takes place at national level, and that regulations refer to the entire system.