Daily Newsletter - 13 May 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

Epidemic's economic impact to remain strong until 2021

The panic has passed, but concerns about the economic impact of the epidemic remain high and don't seem to be going away soon. The impact is likely to remain strong until the first quarter of 2021, according to most CFA analysts taking part in the CFA Romania Association survey, published on Tuesday. Confidence in the economy recovered in April, but the confidence index is only at 32.4%.


Cabinet announces new SME Invest-type program

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced that medium and large companies will receive state help through a program similar to SME Invest. The program designed to help small and medium-sized companies has a budget of EUR 1 billion.


1,1 million hectares affected by drought

A total of 1.1 million hectares of farmland were affected by the drought, with the Constanta county alone accounting for 416,000 hectares. Slightly more than 222,000 hectares are irrigated across the country, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adrian Oros.


Capital market up 4.6% in April

The national capital market jumped 4.6% in April, as investors revised their sentiments regarding the performance of Romanian companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase came on the heels of a 16.4% drop in March. Companies listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) saw gains in April, the first full month of voluntary isolation for the economy.


Financial News (5)

Alpha Bank expands use of self-service banking technology

Alpha Bank Romania has launched a campaign to expand the use of self-service banking technology by replacing its existing ATMs with a new generation of terminals that allow clients to deposit cash any time, without depending on the work schedules of branch office employees. Holders of Alpha Bank cards can use the new machines for a series of operations, including paying bills and loan installments.


CFA analysts expect exchange rate to reach RON 4.97 per EUR in 12 months

Financial analysts expect the national currency to fall to RON 4.97 per EUR in the next 12 months, while the inflation rate could jump to an average of 3.37%, according to CFA Society. More than 91% of the analysts polled by CFA Society expect the RON to depreciate in the next 12 months.


Banca Romaneasca launches BROM Pay app

Banca Romaneasca has launched the BROM Pay application that lets all card holders use biometric authentication for online payments, according to the official announcement. The biometric authentication is performed by touching the phone's fingerprint sensor or by any other method available on the phone (facial or vocal recognition).


Local banks donated more than RON 23.5 million to anti-coronavirus efforts

The commercial banks operating in Romania have donated over RON 23.5 million so far in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The contributions went to the purchasing of medical equipment and devices to support the local health system and the population, according to data centralized by the #Dreptullabanking campaign.


BNR loaned RON 15 billion to banks

The banking system went from liquidity surplus to a net deficit of RON 14.6 billion in April, the highest since 2008-2009. The National Bank threw money on the market through repo operations and the lending facility, while also buying government securities worth almost RON 1.9 billion on the secondary market. Banks needed cash injections from the National Bank of Romania (BNR) at a rate not seen since 2009, amid the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in financial markets and the economy.


Investment News (1)

Timisoara City Hall to set up Oncology Center

The Timisoara City Hall is planning to build a Customized Therapy Oncology Center (COTP) at the Victor Babes Hospital for Infectious Diseases. The investment project is estimated at more than RON 93 million. The center will focus on providing treatment with the help of non-invasive robotic systems.


Legislative News (2)

Senate passes minimum salary bill

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill drafted by several PSD deputies, which make sit mandatory for the state to gradually increase the minimum gross salary in the country to 60% of the average gross salary by the end of 2024. Among the drafters are the a former Minister of Labor, Marius Budai, the chairman of the Budget and Finance Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Sorina Lazar, and a former Minister of Development, Daniel Suciu.


Senate commissions amend state of alert bill

The Senate's Health Commission removed from the Cabinet's state of emergency bill the article allowing the suspension of individuals holding leadership positions in the Ministry of Health or in the hospitals and institutions under the Ministry's control. The article allowing direct hiring was also removed.


Politics (2)

Cazanciuc blasts Cabinet over state of alert bill

Senator Robert Cazanciuc (PSD), interim president of the Senate, accused the Cabinet of failing to prepare in advance a bill regulating the state of alert. Cazanciuc said the bill sent to the Parliament is "roughly a copy of the state of emergency decree", and accused the Government of simply continuing "what they did during the state of emergency: non-transparent procuring, appointment of party people".


PM's chief of staff urges PSD to stop butchering state of alert bill

Ionel Danca, chief of staff to Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, called the amendments attached to the state of alert bill "a grave gesture" and urged the Social Democrats (PSD) to reconsider them.