Daily Newsletter - 11 September 2020


Macroeconomic News (2)

Inflation fell to 2.68%

Consumer prices dropped 0.05% in August, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS). A slightly favorable base effect pushed the annual inflation rate down to 2.68%. The prices of vegetables and fruit decreased as expected in summer.


VAT collection deficit expected to increase because of pandemic

Romania ranks last in VAT collection in the European Union, with a deficit of almost 34%. The European Commission expects the collection deficit to increase significantly this year because of the pandemic.


Financial News (4)

Pandemic reshapes labor market

The two largest banks in Romania, BT and BCR, large automotive employers such as Bosch and Michelin, service centers and IT developers say they will expand teleworking into the "new post-pandemic normal". Ten companies and banks that responded to a request from ZF regarding how teleworking will change the lives of organizations said that working from home will remain part of HR policy even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.


CSALB helped bank and NBFI clients get EUR 3.5 million in benefits in 5 years

The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center (CSALB) announced on Thursday that it had intermediated 1,500 negotiations between consumers and banks in its five-year existence, 1,300 of which ended with an agreement being reached between the parties involved. These successful resolutions brought clients EUR 3.5 million in benefits.


BCR begins accepting New House application

Yesterday, BCR started accepting loan applications for the New House program. The bank charges 2%+IRCC in interest and requires a down payment of at least 5% on loans of up to EUR 119,000 that mature in up to 30 years.


Non-food retail saw sales drop by as much as 75%

Non-food retailers continue to find themselves in a very difficult situation almost 3 months after the reopening of malls, as sales plunged up to 75% in July and August, according to employer organization RORETAIL. The organization's representatives warned that they would resume their protests unless mall owners are willing to be fair partners.


Investment News (4)

Fosun buys second office building

Chinese conglomerate Fosun is preparing to buy another office building, after having just spent more than EUR 100 million to acquire Floreasca Park, the office ensemble located near the Pipera Overpass. The Chinese investor closed the deal with GLL Real Estate Partners.


Investment market remains robust despite pandemic

The investment market in Romania remained robust during the pandemic, with transactions worth over EUR 400 million being signed in recent weeks, according to Cushman & Wakefield Echinox consultants. At the same time, liquidity in Bucharest remains lower compared to Warsaw, Prague or Budapest, and, until that changes, investors will still have doubts about the possibility of exiting their investments whenever they want.


Nuclearelectrica to spend EUR 190 million on new Cernavoda equipment

Nuclearelectrica, Romania's sole producer of nuclear energy, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are waiting for bids for the acquisition of new equipment worth EUR 190 million for the Cernavoda power plant. Most of the funds will be borrowed from the EBRD.


Central Counterparty authorization and implementation process to begin on October 1

The Central Counterparty project is six months behind schedule because of the COVID-19 crisis. The authorization and implementation process will begin on October 1, according to Adrian Tanase, CEO of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).


Politics (2)

BEC issues final rule on voters

Romanians who changed their city of residence and got commuter visas after September 4 will be able to vote in the local elections on supplementary lists, according to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC). This decision reversed Monday's ruling, which apparently banned all those who had gotten commuter visas after September 4 from voting in their new cities of residence.


USR urges president, PM and people's attorney to take ANCOM charter amendments to CCR

The Save Romania Union (USR) has urged PResident Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and People's Attorney Renate Weber to challenge before the Constitutional Court the changes made to the ANCOM organizational chart. "The fact that four of the seven members of the so-called Regulatory Committee can be party members compromises the independence of this institution," reads the USR press release.


Social (2)

COVID-19 brings out paradoxical Romania

Around 66% of Romanians say they want to cut down on their spending during the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the same number is willing to take out a short-term consumer loan, according to a BNP Paribas Personal Finance survey.


Romanians sending 25% more money at home

TransferGo, an international online money transfer company, announced that the volume of remittances to Romania increased by 25%, as the new school year is about to begin. The most active diaspora community is in Great Britain. In order to make sure they cover the children's needs, parents working abroad are sending up to 2-3 installments in 30 days.