News

Daily Newsletter - 13 September 2022

Summary

FIC (1)
Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (4)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (3)
FIC 
FIC launching event of the "Va Urma" project with the participation of the Prime minister

FIC launched the 2022 edition of Va Urma (https://vaurma.ro) with the participation of the Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Nicolae Ciuca, together with members of the Government and Parliament, international institutions, and economic leaders. The "Va Urma" project represents an economic development model with a vision for the next 20 years, updated to take account of the latest events at global level. The event was a first step in setting country directions agreed and supported by the authorities, representative international institutions, and the business environment. The participants agreed on ten long-term measures and several quick wins for boosting the future economy based on investments, energy mix, digitalization, human capital and institional capacity.


Macroeconomic 
Annual inflation rate grew to 15.3% in August
Annual inflation rate grew to 15.3% in August, after having stood at 15% in July and at 15.05% in June, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Monday, 12 September. The biggest increases in the past year were recorded by food products, of 18.22%, followed by non-food goods - 15.9%, and services - 8.26%. Consumer prices rose by 0.6% in August compared to July 2022, following a 1.82% increase in prices of food products, a 0.19% advance of prices of non-food goods and a 0.37% increment in the prices of services.
Number of de-registered firms at national level grew by 8.87% in the first seven months of 2022
According to the statistics from the National Trade Register Office (ONRC), the number of companies deregistered at national level grew by 8.87% in the first seven months of 2022, compared to the similar period of 2021, when 41,007 de-registrations had been recorded. Most de-registered companies were recorded in Bucharest - 6,536 (up by 8.07% year-on-year), Cluj County - 1,862 (up 13.81%), Timiș County - 1,861 (up 4.49%) and Constanța County - 1,825 (up 13.85%) counties.
Romania’s borrowing costs are growing following ECB interest rate increases
The Ministry of Finance borrowed RON 290.5 million from the domestic market at a growing yield. European monetary policy became more restrictive at the end of last week, thus triggering higher borrowing costs for most countries. In Romania, inflation grew above expectations again in August. The Finance Ministry placed bonds on the market below the RON 300 million prospectus, while demand from investors stood at little over RON 404 million. The average yield of auctioned bonds maturing in April 2028 reached 8.38% on Monday, 12 September, compared to 8% at the end of August.
Romanian state owns 216 companies, which generate about 7% of Romania’s GDP
Mihai Călin Precup, a Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, stated on Monday, 12 September that the Romanian state owned, through the Romanian Government, 216 companies, which had about 83,000 employees and generated about 7% of Romania’s GDP. Mr Precup also indicated that the Ministry of Finance encouraged the issuance of green bonds for the development of the capital market, stressing that the institution was working on the legislative framework for the first green government bonds issue. Moreover, several series of Fidelis government securities issues have been launched this year. Eight rounds of Fidelis bond issues have been launched since 2020 up to present, following which RON 7.4 billion and EUR 1 billion were raised.
Financial 
BRD becomes the eighth institution to implement the instant interbank payments system
On Monday, 12 September, BRD Groupe Societe Generale added the instant payments service to its portfolio, having thus become the eighth bank on the local market to implement the solution allowing clients to pay and receive money within maximum ten seconds, along with Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank, Libra Internet Bank, Banca Comercială Română, Patria Bank, Vista Bank and Raiffeisen Bank. The payments processing infrastructure has been developed by Transfond, the operator of the Interbank Payments Automated Clearing House, in collaboration with the commercial banks, the Romanian Association of Banks, which is the administrator of the national payments scheme, and with the National Bank of Romania (NBR), which is the supervisor of payment schemes.
CEC Bank has launched a bank account package for individuals
CEC Bank has expanded its product portfolio by adding a bank account package for individuals, with zero maintenance costs in the first year and 7.2% annual interest on the deposit with subsequent sums put into the bank account. The deposit allows clients to save at their own pace, by adding additional amounts, either through automatic payments or occasional deposits, according to the bank officials. Those who constantly deposit RON 300 per month can thus accumulate nearly RON 21,000 net savings in five years, a sum that can ensure reserve funds for unforeseen situations or home renovation expenses, according to a calculation made by CEC Bank.
ING Bank re-became the leader of the primary dealers ranking at the end of H1/2022
ING Bank, the fourth biggest bank on the local market asset-wise, re-became the leader of the primary dealers ranking at the end of the first half (H1) of 2022, after having filled the second place in the first months of this year and in the second half of 2021. Previously, in the first months of 2021 and at the end of 2020, ING had ranked first in the top of primary dealers. ING had returned to the top of this ranking in the autumn months of 2020, having dethroned UniCredit Bank at the time.
Banca Transilvania announces the concept of Dialog Agencies
Banca Transilvania has nearly 50 offices dedicated to customer consultancy, in 19 localities across Romania, according to a press release. These premium units offer clients a new kind of experience through consultancy, financial education and self-banking options. BT Dialog branches are first and foremost a meeting place. There, the bank has teams ready to provide financial information and recommendations regarding all the services, products and online banking solutions, according to Banca Transilvania CEO Omer Tetik.
Investment 
Iulius Group has obtained EUR 410 million financing
The developer and operator of mixed-use urban regeneration projects Iulius, together with its partners from Atterbury Europe, have signed a EUR 410 million financing for the national network of Iulius Mall regional shopping centers in Iași, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava and Timișoara. According to a press release, the loan supports the developer’s long-term investment plans, aimed at consolidating the status of its projects as regional leaders on the retail and entertainment segments.
Sixteen electric vehicle charging stations are operational in Timisoara
A total of 16 electric vehicle charging stations are operational in Timisoara on the main streets and in the central area. The charging fee is RON 1.10/kWh, VAT included. The investment amounted to RON 2.2 million (VAT not included) of which 90% was financing from the Environmental Fund Administration. The installation and operation of the stations is ensured by Evgo Green Motion. These are the first charging stations installed following a public investment, according to a press release issued by Timisoara City Hall on Monday, 12 September.
UMFST Târgu Mureș will be modernized following a EUR 20 million investment
Education needs major investments, especially university education. The Rector of "George Emil Palade" University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology (UMFST) in Târgu Mureș, Professor Leonard Azamfirei, PhD, has announced the signing of a EUR 20 million financing contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB), for several projects included in the "Novum Forum" Science and Technology University Park.
Legislative 
PSD and PNL systematically refuse to add draft law abolishing special pensions onto the agenda
Save Romania Union (USR) representatives have accused the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the National Liberal Party (PNL) of systematically refusing, for four months already, to include the draft law submitted by USR on the abolishing of MPs’ special pensions into the legislative circuit, to be debated and voted on during the Parliament plenary session. On Monday, 12 September, USR group leaders in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate called on the presidents of the two chambers of Parliament to organize a joint permanent bureau to include the aforementioned draft law onto the agenda.
Draft decision on allocation of EUR 7 million for new mountain sheepfolds has been launched
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has put up for public consultation a draft decision which stipulates the allocation of RON 34.6 million (equivalent to EUR 7 million), through a state aid scheme, for the establishment of mountain sheepfolds. The maximum total eligible amount of a project for this type of investment is RON 300,000. Moreover, the aid must not exceed 50% of the total eligible expenditure.
European News 
EU Parliament groups rally behind plans to end biomass subsidies
The three largest political groups in the European Parliament have backed proposals to end subsidies for biomass used in power plants and exclude primary wood burning from the EU’s renewable energy targets. The biomass amendments, part of the EU’s renewable energy directive, will be submitted to a plenary vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday, 14 September.
Social 
The average net wage in economy decreased to RON 3,975 in July
The average net wage in economy was RON 3,975 in July, RON 2 (-0.1%) lower than in the previous month, and up by 12.1% year-on-year. The highest value of the average net wage was recorded in information technology services, including computer service activities, (RON 9,549), and the lowest one was recorded in hotels and restaurants (RON 2,273), according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Monday, 12 September.
20,187 people died in July
Romania recorded a negative natural increase in population of 4,973 people in July 2022, up from 4,766 in the same period of 2021, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Monday, 12 September. 15,214 babies were born in July 2022, 1,021 more than in June 2022, but the number of deaths was 20,187 (10,564 men and 9,623 women), 1,608 more (820 men and 788 women) than in June 2022.
USR calls for "Zero Taxes on Minimum Wage"
Save Romania Union (USR) Senator Anca Dragu has called for the implementation of the "Zero Taxes on Minimum Wage" measure, amid an 18% increase in food prices and an even 30% rise in prices of some basic products. During a press conference held at the Palace of Parliament on Monday, 12 September, the former Finance Minister said that by applying the "Zero Taxes on Minimum Wage" measure, a person earning the minimum wage would receive RON 2,550 instead of RON 1,524.