Daily Newsletter - 12 November 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

Salaries up 7.8% in September

For the first time in a long while, the highest salaries in the economy were not reported by the IT industry. In September, the average net salary was RON 3,321, up RON 46 (1.4%) from the previous month, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INS). Compared to the previous September, the average net salary was up 7.8%.


Automotive market still down, but recovering

108,674 new vehicles (cars, commercial vehicles, minibuses and buses) were registered in the first ten months of this year, down 28.9% compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to the Automotive Producers and Importers Association (APIA). The number of "green" cars registered in the same period jumped 67% compared to 2019.


Inflation fell to 2.2% in October

The annual inflation rate dropped to 2.2% in October from 2.5% in September. Food prices jumped 4.34%, while services gained 2.85%, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Wednesday. The annualized inflation rate based on the harmonized consumer price index was 1.8%.


Drought caused RON 1.8 billion in damages to state budget

At the next budget revision, the Ministry of Agriculture will ask for approximately RON 204 million to pay compensations to the farmers whose crops were affected by the drought. The Ministry has already paid compensations worth RON 850 million. In addition, the Ministry asked the European Commission to approve a compensation program for farmers who lost the crops planted this spring to the drought.


Financial News (6)

BCR and Visa launch gamification program

Banca Comercială Română and Visa launched a gamification program called "Discover the World of BCR Visa". The program is available via the George application store, BCR's digital banking platform, as the Visa Play & Explore extension and it offers over 3,000 prizes through an interactive online game.


BNR: Cybernetic security incidents affected payment operations worth EUR 2 billion

Cybernetic security incidents affected 441,998 payment transactions, worth approximately EUR 2 billion, according to Ruxandra Avram, a director with the National Bank of Romania (BNR). At the same time, 12% of all major cybernetic incidents in Romania focused on the banking sector, according to the National Cyber Security Incident Response Center (CERT-RO).


OTP Bank aiming for 10% increase in corporate loan portfolio

OTP Bank, the local subsidiary of the largest banking group in Hungary, estimates an increase in corporate lending of 2-3% for the entire banking market in 2021, while the bank's strategy for next year aims for a 10% increase in the corporate loan portfolio, said Dragos Mirica, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Division, OTP Bank.


Getin Holding mandated Rothschild to handle Idea Bank Romania's sale

The board of directors of Polish financial holding company Getin Holding has decided to move forward with a possible sale of the entire stake held in Idea Bank Romania and has concluded an exclusive financial advisory agreement with international investment bank Rothschild. Idea Bank (formerly known as Romanian International Bank) was taken over by Getin Holding in 2014.


Ghetea: Banking system digitization saved lives

The digitization of the banking system has saved lives by contributing to the implementation of the social distancing measures imposed by military decrees, said Radu Gheţea, honorary president of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB) and chairman of the board at Libra Internet Bank, at the "Digital Finance-Banking Services & Cybersecurity" conference.


Conciliation between NBFIs and clients yield slim results

The attempts to broker agreements between the non-banking financial institutions and their clients tend to yield slim results five years after the founding of CSALB. Although the number of requests to mediate involving NBFIs are up almost 60% this year, NBFIs accepted only 22 of them, five of which were concluded successfully.


Investment News (2)

Cluj subway and metropolitan train to cost RON 5.7 billion

The Ministry of Public Works will begin reviewing and discussing the pre-feasability study for the Cluj's first subway trunkline and the feasibility study for the metropolitan train. The cost of the entire project was estimated at RON 5.7 billion and the local authorities expect to cover it from EU funds.


Transilvania Constructii expands TRC Park Cluj

Transilvania Constructii announced it would add around 5,000 sqm of warehouse space to the TRC Park Cluj logistic facility in Jucu, Cluj county. The project, which is scheduled to be completed next spring, is worth more than EUR 2 million.


Legislative News (1)

SME grant program rules to be modified

The Ministry of European Funds (MFE) released for public debate a draft decree amending some stipulations of Decree 130/2020 regarding the provision of financial support to SMEs from foreign grants. The new decree brings some major changes to the ongoing SME grant programs.


Politics (1)

Gorghiu: We do not support PSD's desperate attempt to cancel the parliament election

Senator Alina Gorghiu (PNL) said she does not support PSD's "desperate attempt" to cancel the December 6 parliament election, adding that the National Liberals will boycott the Senate session. "We are in a crisis and we need a stable political outlook. It's inadmissible to throw Romania into uncertainty," said Gorghiu.