News

Daily Newsletter - 13 January 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (1)
Macroeconomic 
World Bank has forecast 4.3% economic growth for Romania in 2022
The World Bank has forecast 4.3% economic growth for Romania in 2022, 2% lower than the projection published in June 2021, according to the Global Economic Prospects report released on Wednesday. Moreover, the bank expects Romania to record 3.8% GDP growth in 2023, slightly below the 3.9% forecast in the previous report. Last year, Romania recorded 6.3% economic growth, after having reported a 3.7% decrease in GDP for 2020.
Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.4% in Q3 of 2021
The Gross Domestic Product - seasonally adjusted data - estimated for Q3 of 2021 was RON 295.122 billion at current prices, up by 0.4% against Q2 of 2021 in real terms and by 8.2% against Q3/2020, according to provisional data published by the National Institute of Statistics on Wednesday. As a gross series, the Gross Domestic Product estimated for the third quarter of 2021 was RON 322.697 billion at current prices, up by 7.4% year-on-year in real terms.
Industrial production grew by 7.5% as a gross series in the first 11 months of 2021
Industrial production in Romania grew both as a gross series (+7.5%) and as a seasonally and working-day adjusted series (+8.2%) in the first 11 months of last year, compared to the same period of 2020, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics on Wednesday. In November 2021, industrial production (as a gross series) increased by 5.4% month-on-month, following the advances recorded by the manufacturing industry (+6.4%) and by electrical and thermal power, gas, hot water and air conditioning production and supply (+3.0%). Mining industry dropped 2.6%.
Financial 
Revolut has reached over 1.5 million clients in Romania and 18 million at global level
Revolut, the fintech that has reached more than 1.5 million clients in Romania and 18 million at global level, has entered ten more Western European markets based on the banking license issued in Lithuania, according to information provided by Revolut representatives. The new countries where Revolut will operate as a bank are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
UniCredit is interested in taking over Russian bank Bank Otkritie
Italian banking group UniCredit SpA is among the players interested in a potential takeover of Bank Otkritie, a Russian bank that was nationalized four years ago, but which is now looking for potential buyers, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday. According to the sources, UniCredit is set to start due diligence procedures as soon as this week and has hired an adviser to examine the Russian lender’s books and expects the review to be completed within two weeks.
Atos Convergence will test NBR’s computer network against cyber attacks
Atos Convergence Creators has won a tender organized by the National Bank of Romania (NBR) for carrying out certain penetration tests on the institution’s network with a view to computer security auditing. The four-year contract, estimated at EUR 600,000, VAT not included, was signed for EUR 200,000. Deloitte Consultancy, Clarified Security and Secforce Alliance also participated in the procedure. The National Bank of Romania draws up and implements the monetary and exchange rate policy, is in charge of credit institutions’ authorization, regulation and prudential supervision, promotes and monitors the proper functioning of payment systems, and contributes to ensuring financial stability.
Investment 
Optimedia plans to invest EUR 22 million in 2022 to increase its production capacity
PVC and aluminum windows and doors manufacturer Optimedia from Oradea, owned by Romanian entrepreneurs Marius and Simona Pantiș, plans to invest EUR 22 million in 2022 to increase the production capacity of PVC and aluminum joinery. The company plans to build production units on an area of 9,500 square meters, an automatic warehouse for PVC profiles, an automatic cutting and processing center, two automatic profile laminating machines, five welding machines, a hardware fitting automatic center and two automatic warehouses for managing accessories.
Car components manufacturer Preh Romania made EUR 13 million investments in 2021
In 2021, automotive components manufacturer Preh Romania finalized a EUR 13 million investment program for the development of new projects of clients Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW and Tesla, for the acquisition of a SMT components mounting machine (surface mount technology), but also for technologies and lines dedicated to new projects. In 2020, Preh had invested EUR 15 million, mainly to increase the capacity of assembly lines and SMT machines, as well as for equipping the new logistics unit.
Faurecia has attracted EUR 80 million from EBRD for investments, in Romania inclusively
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will invest up to EUR 80 million in a Schuldschein bond issuance by automotive technology company Faurecia. The money will be used exclusively to finance the French group’s projects in Romania, Poland, Tunisia and Morocco. Faurecia signed a EUR 700 million Schuldschein private placement within its sustainable financing strategy (ESG). The transaction was structured into four tranches, with 2.5, 4, 5 and 6 year maturities, and is the biggest Schuldschein placement to date by a non-German company. Most of the attracted funds will be used to finance Hella’s acquisition.
Legislative 
USR MPs Oana Cambera and Dragoș Popescu submitted a legislative initiative on Wednesday
On Wednesday, MPs Oana Cambera and Dragoș Popescu, from Save Romania Union (USR) submitted a legislative initiative on the establishment of a national environmental register and an environmental violations record, as well as of a system of penalty points for those who violate the environmental legislation. The environmental violations record is intended for legal entities, including administrative-territorial units, as well as legal entities’ associates, shareholders and legal representatives, who have committed contraventions or criminal offences related to environmental legislation. The legislative proposal is eligible for funding under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
Government has adopted the implementation of electronic bracelets for offenders
Home Affairs Minister Lucian Bode announced on Wednesday that the Government had adopted the project regarding the implementation of electronic bracelets for offenders and that 964 surveillance kits would be initially purchased this year. The pilot project will be carried out over a four year period and these bracelets will be introduced in three counties and in Bucharest in a first phase, and electronic monitoring will be carried out for all cases stipulated by Law 146/2021 starting from 2026.
Government will come up with emergency ordinance to support energy consumers next week
Energy Minister Virgil Popescu stated on Wednesday that next week, the government would come up with an emergency ordinance for the new support scheme for energy consumers and could help other industries as well, apart from agriculture and the food industry. He announced that the government would ban disconnection for more consumers, in addition to vulnerable ones. The minister reiterated that suppliers to have issued erroneous bills without including the support measures must cancel them and not charge penalties.
European News 
European experts have doubts about the need to introduce a fourth booster dose
On Tuesday, 11 January, the European Union’s drug regulator expressed doubts about the need for a fourth booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine and said there was currently no data to support this approach as it sought more data on the fast-spreading Omicron variant. European Medicines Agency’s Head of Vaccines Strategy, Marco Cavaleri raised concerns that a strategy of giving boosters every four months hypothetically posed the risk of overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue in the population. Cavaleri also said more data on the impact of the new variant on vaccines and a better understanding of the evolution of the current wave were needed to decide whether an Omicron-specific vaccine was needed.
Social 
CNCAV announced nearly 24,700 people had been vaccinated in the past 24 hours
The National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Activities (CNCAV) announced on Wednesday that nearly 24,700 people had been vaccinated in the past 24 hours. 6,265 of them received their first dose of serum or the single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson. Another 15,041 people were administered the third/booster dose, in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Six adverse reactions were reported during the aforementioned interval, all to the Pfizer vaccine. Another 232 adverse reactions are under investigation; and no severe cases were reported.