Daily Newsletter - 11 September 2019


Macroeconomic News (1)

MFP wants more money from banks

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) seems to have not paid attention to the commercial banks' high exposure to state bonds when it decided to focus on borrowing "mainly in the national currency" for the next two years. MFP will work mainly with the local banks, given that the lenders attract 12 times more funds from the population. BNR officials have been warning for some time that the commercial banks' exposure to state bonds is worryingly high.


Financial News (4)

BCR slashed fees for EUR-denominated interbank payments

BCR announced yesterday that it had reduced the fees charged for EUR-denominated interbank payments made within the European Community, in compliance with the new EU regulations. The new fees are the same as those charged for RON-denominated transactions. According to the banks, these are the lowest fees charged by any lender in the country for this type of payments.


Online commerce takes Electro-IT&C market to all-time high

The national Electro-IT&C retail market is growing, mainly thanks to e-commerce. Retailers reported an 8% increase in turnover for 2018, with another 7.5% estimated for this year. Compared to 2014, the growth rate is a huge 37.6%. The market is expected to pass RON 36 billion in 2019, a figure that has never been reached before.


CC looking into Benefit deal

The Competition Council announced on Tuesday that it was looking into the acquisition of Benefit Systems, Benefit Admin and Benefit Broker de Pensii Private by Edenred Romania. The transaction is an economic concentration that exceeds the legal threshold.


​Turbomecanica and Antibiotice Iasi put on monitoring list

​Turbomecanica, the only manufacturer of gas turbine engines and mechanical systems for airplanes in the country, and Antibiotice Iasi, the main local producer of generic drugs, were put by the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) on the monitoring list for their possible inclusion in the BET-XT and BET-XT-TR indexes.


Investment News (2)

Qbis launches digital services platform

Qbis, a company established by three local entrepreneurs more than 15 years ago, has launched a web platform offering integrated digital and marketing services to entrepreneurs and SMEs. WebDo offers an integrated solution for the online presence of businesses: domain, hosting, blog, traffic analysis, content analysis, marketing applications, support and a team of designers.


Blockchain startup lands USD 14.5 million in capital

A blockchain startup headed by Vlad Zamfir, a Romanian expert in cryptocurrency technology, has secured USD 14.5 million in funding. The Romanian researcher, who does work for the Ethereum Foundation, is the head of the CasperLabs team. The team is currently developing an algorithm to make blockchain technology more scalable and environment-friendly, as well as cheaper and safer.


Legislative News (2)

Sparks fly among gas companies

The Ministry of Energy hosted a tense meeting with the entities involved in the natural gas market. E.ON and Engie, beneficiaries of the infamous Decree 114, want part of the current regulations maintained, while Petrom and Romgaz called for market deregulation beginning with next spring, coupled with support measures for vulnerable consumers. ANRE leans toward upholding the regulations, while the Ministry needs a minimum level of harmony among market actors in order to avoid EU fines.


Special pension tax, tip tax and tobacco excise to come into force on January 1, 2020

The Senate's Permanent Bureau discussed the ten bills submitted by the Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, and set a deadline for the commission reports. The commissions are supposed to report out the bills next Tuesday in order to start the floor debate on Wednesday. The bills include the tax on special pensions, the tax on tips and the tobacco excise.


Politics (2)

Teodor Melescanu elected head of Senate

Senator Teodor Melescanu (ALDE) was elected President of the Senate at the proposal and with the backing of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Melescanu got 73 votes in the second round, while rival Alina Gorghiu (PNL) got only 59 votes. The PSD could muster only 67 votes, but six ALDE senators helped them get Melescanu over the line.


Rovana Plumb nominated for Transport Commissioner

Von der Leyen, the president-elect of the European Commission, unveiled the new list of commissioners and the structure of the next EU executive. MEP Rovana Plumb (RO, PSD) was nominated for Transport Commissioner.


Social (2)

Around 10,000 state employees not paid

Approximately 10,000 employees working for the ministries run by ALDE members have not been paid because the outgoing ministers did not appoint anyone to sign the payslips, according to Vasile Marica, President of the Sed Lex labor alliance.


Defense industry unions stage protest

Members of defense industry unions will gather in Victoriei Square to protest on Wednesday and Thursday, September 11 and 12. Defense workers complain that the Cabinet has disregarded the promises made at the July 17 meeting.