Daily Newsletter - 13 November 2020


FIC (1)

FDI To Play Pivotal Role In Romania’s Recovery

According to the September 2020 edition of the Foreign Investors’ Council’s “Foreign Direct Investment in Romania” study, global FDI flows will be significantly impacted by the pandemic. For the 2020-2021 period, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates a reduction in FDI flows of up to 40 percent. The study highlights that Romania’s FDI flows had a negative net value of EUR –338 million in the first five months of 2020. Even though this trend is expected to reverse in the coming months, the initial signal provided by the direction of FDI in the first half of 2020 was a reflection of the relatively high risk that foreign investors see in the Romanian economy and their lack of confidence in the business environment’s short-term prospects. Last year, Romania attracted EUR 5.17 billion in FDIs and posted a total balance of EUR 88.3 billion, according to data provided by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). 2019 was the second year in a row when Romania exceeded the level of EUR 5 billion in FDIs (it had reached EUR 5.26 billion in 2018).


Macroeconomic News (4)

BNR: Economic recovery uneven, will probably end

On Thursday, BNR decided to maintain the key rate, while slashing the minimum mandatory reserves for foreign currency loans in accordance with the new forecast. The forecast points to "a better than expected recovery during the summer", but also threats and uncertainties regarding the worsening of the medical crisis.


Manufacturing reports new order fall

New orders in the manufacturing industry decreased overall by 8.8% between January 1 and September 30, 2020, compared to January 1 - September 30, 2019, due to decreases in the current goods industry (-11%), capital goods industry (-10.5%) and in the intermediate goods industry (-7.8%). The durable goods industry grew by 20.8%, according to INS data.


Industry turnover down 9.7% in nine months

Total industry turnover (internal market and external market) decreased by 9.7% in nominal terms in the first nine months of the year, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Thursday.


Ministry of Agriculture to begin paying pandemic support funds

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adrian Oros, said on Thursday that, beginning with November 25, APIA will pay all the funds allocated through the support measures for farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The drought compensation funds will be allocated to the Ministry at the upcoming budget revision.


Financial News (5)

Alpha Bank Romania joins Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative

Alpha Bank Romania has joined the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative. 56 lenders have joined the initiative that brings together the EeMAP, EeDaPP and EeMMIP projects, according to information provided by EEMI. The thinking behind this pilot project is that energy efficient mortgages offer more advantages to lenders, debtors and political decision-makers.


BNR board maintains key rate

The board of directors at the National Bank of Romania (BNR) has decided to maintain the key rate at 1.5% per year, along with the interest rates of the deposit and loan facilities. On the other hand, the minimum mandatory reserves for foreign currency loans were lowered from 6% to 5% in order to release more liquidity into the market.


Raiffeisen Bank posts RON 583 million in earnings

Raiffeisen Bank posted RON 583 million in earnings for the first three quarters of this year, up 9% on an annual basis. The bank's net loan portfolio reached RON 28.39 billion, up 3% year-on-year, while the NPL rate remained at 3.9%. The total assets amounted to RON 49.61 billion, up 17% year-on-year, and client deposits jumped 17% to RON 40.84 billion.


Remittances up 23%

Remittances grew for the fifth consecutive year, reaching a total of EUR 3.7 billion in 2019, the highest figure in the European Union, according to Eurostat. In 2019, Romanians working abroad sent over 23% more money to the home country compared to 2018, when the value of transfers was EUR 2.17 billion.


UniCredit Bank gets RON 50 million increase in New House guarantee budget

UniCredit Bank was granted a RON 50 million increase in the guarantee budget for New House loans, which will allow the bank to issue up to RON 100 million worth of extra loans. "In the current situation, buying a new home is a necessary step for many people who want or need a larger living space, where work does not interfere with personal life. By participating in the New House program, we're offering our clients the opportunity to achieve this goal on very good terms for them," said Antoaneta Curteanu, Retail VP at UniCredit Bank Romania.


Investment News (2)

TeraPlast receives MFP nod for EUR 7.9 million project

TeraPlast, the leading Romanian producer of construction materials, announced that the government had approved its request for state aid under the 2020 support program. The company intends to increase its competitiveness through the acquisition of new equipment and expanding its production capacity.


Romgaz and Petrom want to produce hydrogen at Dobrogea wind farm

Romgaz (SNG) and OMV Petrom (SNP) want to invest in a joint hydrogen production project at a wind farm in Dobrogea, the first such project for the Romanian market, according to Niculae Havrilet, Secretary of State with the Ministry Economy, Energy and Business Environment. "I believe that, by the middle of next year, we will have at least two wind and/or solar parks producing hydrogen," said Havrilet.


Politics (1)

Grindeanu, PSD: The PNL Cabinet has no plan to manage the pandemic

The National Liberal (PNL) cabinet has no plan to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Sorin Grindeanu, First VP of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). "Today we have over 10,000 new cases, over 120 deaths, over 1,100 people in ICU. It's a dramatic situation," said Grindeanu


Social (1)

EC: Online school could worsen existing inequalities in Romania

There is a risk that the move to remote learning will exacerbate the already high inequalities in Romania, warns the European Commission. The lack of electronic devices has had a particular impact, especially on students in rural areas and, in general, on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including the Roma. 38% of the responding teachers had to share a device with other family members, while 11% own none of the necessary devices.