Two in ten SMEs in Romania which had suspended their activity at the
beginning of the pandemic were still closed six months later, compared
to a share of only 13% in the case of large enterprises, according to a
study conducted by Mastercard in 19 countries, showing that small
businesses are three times more likely to remain closed than larger
businesses. At global level, small and medium-sized traders located in
office buildings in central areas recorded a 33% decline in sales in
2020 compared to 2019, while sales of merchants in residential areas
grew by 8%. Moreover, sales of small businesses in commercial areas
decreased amid the dropping number of tourists and the fact that most
employees work from home.
Annual inflation rate grew to 6.3% in September, after food prices
increased by 4.26% compared to September 2020, those of non-food
products were up 7.52%, and services became 3.41% more expensive,
according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Inflation
started rising sharply in July, when it jumped to 5%, from 3.9% in June
and then to 5.3% in August. The biggest price increases were recorded
in the energy sector, of 24.65% for electricity, 20.55% for gas and
16.77% for fuels compared to September 2020. Significant price
increments were also recorded for bread- 5.52%, potatoes - 12%, and oil
Romania’s primary energy resources grew by 10.1% in the first eight
months of the current year, compared to the similar period of 2020, and
those of electrical power increased by 8.4%, according to data
published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Tuesday, 12
October. Final electricity consumption in this period was 37102.3
million kWh, up by 6.2% year-on-year; public lighting recorded a 1.2%
decline, and household consumption rose 8.0%. According to the INS, the
main primary energy resources in the period January - August 2021
totaled 22.596 million tons of oil equivalent (toe), up by 2.073
million toe compared to the same period of 2020.
ING Bank Romania has granted over RON 1.2 billion loans to
entrepreneurs through the SME Invest 2021 program since April, 20% more
than in the entire year 2020. Under these circumstances, given that it
had nearly used up the funds available, the banking institution had
requested the supplementation of the ceiling ever since the summer,
having obtained a 35% increase, of RON 400 million respectively, which
it can grant until the end of the year, according to the information
transmitted by the bank’s representatives. ING Bank joined the second
edition of the SME Invest program in April 2021, after having granted
over RON 1 billion loans in 2020. ING has received a total of 5,000
applications from entrepreneurs this year.
Banca Transilvania, the biggest bank in Romania asset-wise, is to
initiate the specific procedures for finalizing the transaction with
Getin Holding Group, after the banking institution received the
necessary approvals from the National Bank of Romania and the
Competition Council for the acquisition of the entire stake held by the
Poles at Idea Bank, as well as the participations held in Idea Leasing
IFN SA and Idea Broker de Asigurare’s share capital. The bank’s
representatives estimate that the transaction for Idea Bank’s takeover
will be finalized at the end of October. Banca Transilvania will
subsequently become a full rights shareholder, and Idea Bank will
become part of the BT Financial Group.
The banking system recorded a RON 4.2 billion liquidity surplus in
September, up from RON 3.9 billion in the previous month, according to
BCR analysts. In July, the liquidity surplus stood at RON 5.9 billion,
Moreover, NBR’s statistical report for September shows that the central
bank did not buy RON-denominated government securities from the
secondary market in the previous month. September was thus the fifth
consecutive month without acquisitions after the RON 247.4 million
total purchases made in March and April. The stock of RON-denominated
government securities bought by NBR from the secondary market amounts
to RON 5.52 billion, representing about 0.5% of the GDP.
Affidea Romania, the local subsidiary of the European leader of
diagnostic imaging, outpatient treatments, nuclear medicine and cancer
treatment services, has announced the launch of the Affidea I Hiperdia
medical center in Cluj, following a EUR 2.7 million total investment.
Affidea has chosen to diversify its range of services on the medical
imaging and laboratory medicine segment in this new unit. As a result,
the unit is the first center operated by the company in Cluj which
offers medical examination services as well, covering a total of 14
specialties including cardiology, general surgery, oncology, neurology,
orthopedics and ENT.
Sandoz, the world’s second biggest antibiotics producer, has announced
that it has finalized the acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s
cephalosporins segment. The transaction, which included the global
brand Zinnat, consolidates Sandoz’s current leading position on the
generic penicillin segment with a leading position on the
cephalosporins segment as well. According to its integrated
manufacturing strategy, Sandoz intends to produce Zinnat in the units
part of its own network on a long term. Its main global antibiotics
production unit is located in Kundl, Austria. In May, Sandoz had
announced that it planned to invest more than EUR 150 million into its
integrated European antibiotics network.
Four main streets in the city of Galaţi will benefit from a modern
public lighting system, following an over RON 1.5 million investment.
The announcement was made by Galaţi City Hall, which indicated that the
contract for the modernization of the public lighting system on the
four main streets of the city had been launched in the electronic
public procurement system. Energy consumption will be reduced by 70%
following this modernization process. The main categories of
intervention works will target the acquisition of LED street lighting
fixtures, the dismantling of existing luminaires and the installation
of luminaires on existing poles and consoles, as well as the
installation of consoles for poles that are not currently equipped with
German retailer Lidl announced on Monday that it had reached a network
of over 300 stores in Romania and about 10,000 employees at national
level. The company works with over 400 suppliers of products from
Romania, and has facilitated over EUR 164 million exports for Romanian
suppliers’ products onto the European markets in the past five years.
In all its ten years of activity, Lidl Romania has stood out through
investment both in economy and in the society: from supporting Romanian
producers, to over RON 106.5 million investments in programs developed
together with the civil society.
Interim Health Minister Cseke Attila has announced that the draft
normative act on mandatory anti-Covid-19 vaccination for certain
professional categories will be promoted as a parliamentary initiative
on Wednesday, 13 October. The draft has been announced by several
officials, including by the dismissed Prime Minister, Florin Cîțu. The
latter indicated that the normative act targeted mandatory vaccination
and the obligation of those who refused to get vaccinated to pay for
getting tested, but he had some reservations related to the draft law,
such as those referring to the sanctions that could be applied against
persons who refuse the immunization.
On Tuesday, 12 October, USR deputies Cristina Prună and Claudiu Năsui
submitted a draft law proposing five short-term measures aimed at
reducing household consumers and SMEs’ utility bills. Save Romania
Union (USR) has called on all parliamentary parties to support and
adopt the legislative initiative as soon as possible, so that the
measures can rapidly enter into force. USR’s draft law proposes a
liberal solution to the problem of growing electricity and natural gas
prices and, compared to the price capping option, it does not distort
the market, does not create legislative unpredictability and does not
discourage investments in gas exploitation in Romania, according to
former Economy Minister Claudiu Năsui.
A majority of EU countries have succeeded in rejecting the commitment
to a tight timeline for an agreement on two key pieces of digital
legislation that would have served well the French government ahead of
the presidential elections there in April 2022. Leaders of EU-27 are
due to meet on 21 and 22 October for the European Council in Brussels.
While the ongoing energy crunch is set to take the centre stage,
digital policies also remain on top of the leaders’ agenda.
Every RON 1 the Romanian state invests in a full education cycle (from
preschool to postgraduate level) generates RON 8 in the form of budget
revenues from taxes, charges and contributions, according to the study
"The cost of education: investment, return, impact", conducted by
Deloitte Romania and commissioned by the World Vision Romania
Foundation, according to a press release sent to the editorial office.
The study was launched on Tuesday, 12 October, during an extensive
conference on financing in education, organized by World Vision Romania
in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research and with the
Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
The average gross nominal wage was RON 5,688 in August 2021, RON 92
(-1.6%) lower than in July 2021, and the average net nominal wage stood
at RON 3,487, down by RON 58 (-1.6%) against the previous month,
according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics
(INS). The highest average net nominal wage was recorded in information
technology service activities (including information service
activities) – RON 8,377, and the lowest one was recorded in the
clothing manufacturing sector (RON 1,957).