Daily Newsletter - 12 March 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

Forecasts change every month

The major uncertainties caused by government policies and foreign factors have determined, in a matter of months, major variations in the forecasts issued by some of the biggest local banks. The forecasts regarding the current account deficit, state borrowing cost and national currency exchange rates have been changing constantly since October, 2018. In some cases, the forecasts changed from month to month.


Budget deficit on track to hit 3.5%

The consolidated state budget for 2019 features a RON 2.03 billion increase in spending, following the decision to pay child rearing aid. This is expected to push the budget deficit to 2.76%, according to the Ministry of Finance (MFP). The Fiscal Council does not agree with the MFP's estimate and instead maintains that the deficit would exceed 3%.


Florin Jianu said President Iohannis should make FSDI national security issue

President Klaus Iohannis should bring up before the Supreme Homeland Defense Council (CSAT) the draft bill adding the Romanian Lottery and the National Printing House to the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund (FSDI), according to Florin Jianu, President of the National Council of Private SMEs (CNIPMMR). Jianu noted that most of the companies included in the fund are of strategic importance to the nation and that the president should bring up this issue before it's too late.


Financial News (3)

CEC Bank increased interest rates

CEC Bank has increase the interest rates paid on fixed-rate time deposits opened through digital means. The bank pays a 0.10 pp bonus to both corporate and retail clients for opening these deposits via Internet Banking, Mobile Banking and Phone Banking.


Banks pushed up loan rates, slashed deposit rates

The interest rates demanded by the banks for new loans increased slightly in January, compared to the previous month, especially for consumer loans, according to data analyzed by Deposit rates stayed below 2%, on average, which is significantly below the inflation rate. The net interest margin has thus increased since the arrival of Decree 114 and the financial asset tax.


Banca Transilvania, BCR and BRD increased their earnings by 22.7%

Banca Transilvania, BCR and BRD increased their combined earnings by 22.7% in 2018, compared to the previous year, while their total assets jumped 8.7%. Banca Transilvania became the top bank in the country last year, following the acquisition of Bancpost.


Investment News (1)

Mayor Firea announces multipurpose hall project

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea announced on Monday morning the project for building a 20,000-seat multipurpose hall in the city, at a cost of EUR 138 million. The building will occupy 60,000 sqm and will include an underground parking for 380 cars.


Legislative News (2)

President Iohannis signs social security budget

President Klaus Iohannis announced on Monday that he had signed the 2019 social security budget bill. Monday was the last day when the president could sign the bill. "If the law was not promulgated, pensioners would have been directly impacted because any delay affects the payment of social benefits," said the president.


Senate lets lobbying transparency bill pass

The bill on transparency in lobbying and interest representation, drafted and introduced by ALDE MPs, was allowed to pass through the Senate without debate on Monday. The bill sets the legal framework regarding the registration and activity rules for individuals or groups engaged in the direct influencing of lawmaking and decision making by the central and local public administration.


Politics (2)

Dan Barna: Dragnea no longer has a majority in the Chamber of Deputies

Dan Barna, leader of the Save Romania Union (USR), said that the lack of a final vote in the Chamber of Deputies was caused by the fact that the Social Democrats (PSD) can no longer muster a majority of votes. "It's apparent at this time - because I'd rather not call it 'certain' - that Liviu Dragnea no longer has a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. We'll see how long the Parliament can function without a plenum, without final vote sessions, because it's clear that he's afraid that any bill could fail to pass," said Barna.


PM Dancila met with US ambassador

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila met on Monday with the US Ambassador to Bucharest, Hans Klemm. The two officials noted the growing positive dynamics of the bilateral strategic partnership, while also stressing the importance of high level dialogue.