Daily Newsletter - 14 December 2018


Macroeconomic News (3)

Car sales up 3.4% in October

The turnover reported by car and motorcycle dealers increased by 3.4% in October, compared to the corresponding month of last year. The value of services rendered to the population increased by 6.4%, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Thursday. Car sales fell by 3.9% in September, compared to the corresponding month of last year.


Economists doubt government's estimates

According to Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, the state budget for 2019 is built on an economic growth rate of 5.5%, compared to the 4.5% growth rate estimated by the National Forecast Commission (CNP) for 2018. Economists say forecasts are just forecasts and that the draft budget should indicate the sources of this growth rate.


Tax exemption for farming coops extended

The exemption of agricultural cooperatives from the profit tax will be extended for another 5 years beyond the first 5 after founding for cooperatives that process agricultural products or produce and sell genetic material, as well as cooperatives with turnovers of up to EUR 3 million, according to some amendments to the law on agricultural cooperation. At the same time, exemptions from the tax on buildings and land used for agricultural production will be applied to several categories of cooperative members.


Financial News (4)

UniCredit offers financing to SMEs

UniCredit Bank offers loans with a 50% guarantee from the European Investment Fund, through which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Romania can access financing without any other material guarantees or collateral. The loans range from RON 277,000 to 1,500,000 and are available to companies with turnovers between EUR 200,000 and 5,000,000.


Solvency indicator of local banking system stays around 20%

The solvency ratio - one of the most important indicators monitored by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), reached 19.97% at the end of September. This shows that there is still room for banks to increase lending to the economy.


New fiscal regulations

Corporate deductibility of interest costs will increase to EUR 1 million plus 30% of EBITDA, the tax on virtual currency transfer revenues will stay at 10%, the 5% VAT rate on housing transfers will no longer be restricted by property size or to a single purchase, and companies will be split into risk classes. The tax office will be able to register companies and private individuals electronically through a remote electronic document communication system, as yet unspecified (possibly SPV), according to some amendments prepared to be brought to tax legislation by the Budget and Finance Commission of the Chamber of Deputies .


Revolut secures banking license

In just three years, fintech Revolut has been awarded the European banking license, and is preparing to start operating as a bank. Revolut has more than 115,000 users in Romania and is the fastest-growing fintech. The company's goal is to turn its own cards into the main payment method used by Romanians.


Investment News (1)

Ministry of Waters and Forests to spend EUR 50 million on Cobilita Accumulation safety

The Ministry of Waters and Forests (MAP) has launched the approval procedure for a project worth EUR 50.58 million. The purpose of the project is to increase the safety level of the Cobilita Accumulation, in Bistrita Nasaud county.


Legislative News (2)

New changes for Fiscal Code

A number of important changes will be made to the Fiscal Code, according to a decree being discussed by the Budget-Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. The amendments would come into force next year, some of them having been announced by Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici on Wednesday.


Dashboard cam videos to be used as evidence

A bill introduced on Thursday would allow police officers to use videos filmed by members of the public using dashboard cams to fine misbehaving drivers. The bill was drafted by Deputy Mihai Botez (USR), who urged drivers to install dashboard cams and film other drivers.


Politics (2)

USR leader accused Liviu Dragnea of trying to block citizen initiative

Liviu Dragnea is trying to block the "No Criminals in Public Jobs" citizen initiative through the Parliament's secretariat, according to USR leader Dan Barna.


President Iohannis met Chancellor Merkel in Berlin

Germany will provide full support to Romania during the latter's term as president of the Council of the European Union, according to statements made by Chancellor Angela Merkel at a meeting with President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday.