Daily Newsletter - 13 March 2023


Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Private consumption grew by almost 6% in January 2023
Private consumption, expressed in terms of retail sales volume, grew by almost 6% in January 2023 year-on-year, a strong acceleration compared to December 2022, when it had increased by 3.6%, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Private consumption is the most important economic branch, accounting for about 60% of Romania’s GDP. The data look better than financial analysts’ expectations. At the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, economists, including the analysts from the National Bank of Romania (NBR), said that the advance of consumption would slow down sharply in 2023, which would also put a serious brake on economy.
Net investments in national economy grew by 8.5%, to RON 150 billion
Net investments in national economy amounted to RON 150 billion in 2022, up by 8.5% year-on-year, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday, 10 February. The biggest advance, of 8.2%, was reported in new construction works, followed by purchases of machinery (including means of transport) and other expenditure, up by 7.8% each. By type of activity, constructions had the biggest share of investments, of 39% (up from 33% in 2021), followed by trade and services, with 21.4% (down from 24%).
More than 3,000 companies were dissolved in January 2023
A total of 3,374 companies were dissolved in January 2023, 41.17% more than in January 2022, according to data centralized by the National Trade Registry Office (ONRC). The most dissolutions were recorded in Bucharest, 681 companies (up 64.1%), and in the counties of Timiș (174, +53.98%), Constanța (167, +19.29%), Cluj (144, +38.46%) and Ilfov (138, +33.98%). The fewest company dissolutions were recorded in the counties of Ialomita (12, +20%%), Mehedinți (14, -6.67%) and Covasna (17, -10.53%). The field of activity that recorded the most company dissolutions in January 2023 was wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, with 948 dissolutions reported at national level.
Revolut claims more than 500,000 clients have applied for a loan from the financial institution
Revolut, the British fintech that has reached more than 2.5 million clients in Romania, has recorded 500,000 applications for loans so far. The lending option has been available since August 2022, and most of the clients who have applied for funding come from Romania’s big cities and have incomes well above the average wage in economy, according to Gabriela Simion, Revolut branch head and head of lending for Romania and Italy. However, Revolut has not provided an exact figure on the number of loans actually granted and their value, and according to the fintech’s representatives, this is the policy on all markets where Revolut grants loans.
OTP Bank’s profit reached RON 34.6 million in 2022
OTP Bank Romania recorded a full-year 2022 profit after tax of RON 34.6 million, down by 40% compared to 2021, according to the report published in Budapest, in which the bank’s results are presented on a consolidated basis, adjusted in accordance with the group’s standards. The profit indicator improved considerably in Q4/2022, based on increased operating profitability and reduced risk costs, according to the bank. The operating profit recorded in 2022 was RON 217 million lei, up by 76% year-on-year, following the positive effect of the 23% increase in total revenues.
Еurohold Bulgaria strengthened Euroins Romania’s financial position
Following public statements regarding Euroins’s solvency problems, Еurohold Bulgaria AD, owner of Euroins Insurance Group AD (EIG), announced, in a press release, that it had recently consolidated the financial position of Euroins Romania, the EIG unit, which now has an SCR (Solvency Capital Requirement) ratio of 160% and a MCR (Minimum Capital Requirement) ratio of 300%. In 2022, Euroins Romania paid more than RON 1.6 billion claims for 160,000 accidents to have occurred in Romania and abroad.
Braşov City Hall plans to build a campus dedicated to dual education
Braşov City Hall plans to build a campus dedicated to dual education on a 28,896 square meter plot of land owned by the municipality. The value of the investment amounts to about RON 144 million (EUR 29 million). As a first step towards the implementation of this project, Brasov municipality applied for RON 104.1 million (EUR 21.1 million) financing through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), Pillar 4: Policies for the new generation, Component C15.
Galati City Hall will have more money for development and investments
Galati City Hall will have more money for development and investments. This announcement has been made by Mayor Ionuț Pucheanu, who aims to carry out more than one hundred investment projects for education, healthcare and infrastructure in 2023. To this end, Galați City Hall will have a consolidated budget of RON 1.17 billion this year, 10% higher than last year.
Mayor of Bucharest signed master plan for development of bicycle lanes network in Bucharest
The General Mayor of Bucharest has announced that he has signed the contract for the drawing up of a master plan for the development of a network of bicycle lanes in Bucharest that will allow investments in alternative urban transport with European money. According to the Mayor, this strategic document will be the basis for projects to ensure the development of an extensive network of bicycle lanes, and will identify and prioritize optimal routes on both main and secondary streets, taking into account the needs of current or potential users, traffic, areas of interest, as well as the urban development of certain areas in the city.
PNL, PSD and UDMR submitted to the Senate a draft law on the granting of holiday vouchers
The National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) have submitted to the Senate a draft law on the provision of holiday vouchers, according to which private sector employees would also receive such vouchers starting from 1 January 2024. The draft law amends Government Emergency Ordinance 8/2009 on the granting of holiday vouchers. According to the legislative proposal, during the fiscal year, employees can benefit from holiday vouchers, holiday bonuses and holiday tickets granted according to Law 263/2010 on the unitary public pensions system, as amended.
Chamber of Deputies’ Health Committee is to debate the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes
The Chamber of Deputies’ Health Committee is to debate the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes on Monday, 13 March, when specialists from various sectors will present their points of view. The normative act is called the Victoria Law, and Alexandra Cârstea is the initiator. Victoria is the name of her mother, who died of cancer several years ago and who, due to complications, could no longer use conventional medication and would have needed this type of medical cannabis treatment. Alexandra says Romanian politicians have delayed for four years the approval of this law, which already exists in about 50 other countries, including Germany, Great Britain and Greece.
Platform for attracting €46 bn from 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy will be available from 16 May
The platform through which the EUR 46 billion from 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy will be attracted will be available starting from 16 May, the Ministry of Investments and European Projects (MIPE) announced in a press release. The MySMIS2021 IT system covers all stages of a project’s life cycle - call definition, project development and project presentation (application for funding), evaluation, contracting, procurement, implementation and monitoring, through dedicated modules. The institutional framework for the development and operation of the single management information system for non-reimbursable external funds corresponding to the 2021-2027 programming period was adopted by the Government through Government Emergency Ordinance 172.
European News 
EU pushes for global fossil fuel phase-out ahead of COP28
European Union countries agreed on Thursday (9 March) to promote a "global phase-out of unabated fossil fuels" ahead of the United Nation’s COP28 climate summit this year, attempting to boost a global deal that failed at last year’s summit. Ministers from the 27 EU member states approved a text on their diplomatic priorities ahead of the COP28 summit, which begins on 30 November in Dubai, where nearly 200 countries will attempt to strengthen efforts to rein in climate change. Europe is in the midst of transforming its energy system to meet climate targets and end decades of reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
Romania will benefit from a new donation from the World Health Organization
Romania will benefit from a new donation from the World Health Organization consisting of 106 defibrillators, 228 personal protection equipment kits and 220 stretchers for patient transport. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă convened the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) in a hybrid format on Friday, 10 March. During the meeting, the CNSU Resolution was approved, allowing the inclusion into the national emergency stocks, through the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU) and the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU), of the equipment necessary for the provision of emergency medical assistance and qualified first aid made available to Romania by the World Health Organization.
Minister of Education has signed the order regarding the structure of 2023-2024 school year
Education Minister Ligia Deca has signed the order regarding the structure of the 2023-2024 school year, and the spring break will include the Easter period. The next school year will start on 11 September 2023 and classes will end on 21 June 2024. The national programs "A Different Kind of School" and "Green Week" will be carried out during the period 11 September 2023 - 26 April 2024. The programs will take place at different intervals.
The business sector in Romania continues to be dominated by men
Cătălina Trupșor, founder and CEO of Color Smart Distribution, has stated that the business sector in Romania continues to be dominated by men and there is gender inequality in entrepreneurship, but significant progress can be noticed, as women are increasingly present either as entrepreneurs or in management positions, according to an analysis which founders of IT, HR, interior design and marketing companies participated in. By contrast, Roxana Epure, owner of NextUp Solutions, one of Romania’s largest software solutions companies, has pointed out that business has no gender and that the only way for Romanian entrepreneurs, whether women or men, is to become highly professional, regardless of gender, base their business on sound principles and develop a performance culture.