Daily Newsletter - 14 February 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

Parliament debates 2019 budget

The Ministry of Finance will have a proactive approach to the implementation of the 2019 state budget, according to statements made by Minister of Finance Eugen Teodorovici before the Parliament. "The Ministry of Finance will play a key role and have a proactive approach to budget implementation. There will be constant and applied monitoring, both to ensure the efficient use of public money and to achieve the planned investments," said Teodorovici.


Foreign debt up more than EUR 1.1 billion

Romania's total foreign debt increased by EUR 1.1 billion in 2018, reaching a total of EUR 98.4 billion, according to data released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) on Wednesday. The long-term debt amounted to EUR 67.2 billion at the end of 2018, down 1.9% on an annual basis.


Inflation rate up in January

The National Statistics Institute (INS) announced an inflation rate of 3.32% for January, up from December, but still within the National Bank of Romania's (BNR) target range. Consumer prices jumped 0.8% in January, compared to the previous month.


Current account deficit surged 58%

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) announced that the current account deficit grew 57.7% last year to approximately EUR 9.42 billion, compared to EUR 5.97 billion in 2017. The deficit was driven by an increase in the imports of goods, coupled with a fall in the surpluses from service sales and a drop in secondary revenues, according to BNR figures.


Financial News (3)

ECB criticizes Teodorovici

The European Central Bank (ECB) sent a letter to Bucharest informing the Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, that the Government was required, under EU law, to consult the ECB prior to the issue of Decree 114, which introduces the asset tax pegged to the ROBOR rate. The ECB warned that "the risk that this tax will have a substantial impact on the stability of the banking system can not be ruled out."


OTP says equity boost will support expansion plans

The EUR 27.9 million equity boost conducted by OTP Bank Romania last December was designed to support the bank's expansion plans.


Hearings end inconclusively

The entire Board of Directors of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) was questioned for more than three hours yesterday by senators sitting on the Economy and Budget Commissions regarding the Report on Financial Stability in 2018 and the way the ROBOR rate is calculated. The atmosphere was tense, with fierce questions and answers. Senator Daniel Zamfir (ALDE), chairman of the Economy Commission, adhered strictly to the rules imposed by the Senate meeting. Calin Popescu Tariceanu, leader of ALDE and President of the Senate, kept everything on a tight leash, focusing on the technical fundamentals explained by the BNR leadership. The hearings ended without any conclusion.


Investment News (2)

EC approves EUR 517 million for Bucharest subway line

Corina Cretu, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, approved yesterday the allocation of EUR 517 million for the construction of Line 6 of the Bucharest subway, which the local authorities included in the Major Infrastructure Operations Program (POIM). The EU funds will cover the cost of the first construction phase.


More than EUR 65.4 million for orchard investment

The Ministry of Agriculture (MADR) announced that it has more than EUR 65.4 million for investment projects focusing on orchards. The funds will be made available through the 2014-2020 National Rural Development Program (PNDR), which will begin on February 15. The minimum threshold to qualify for financing is 10 points.


Legislative News (2)

MFP announces three-stage project

The Ministry of Finance split into three stages a project for overhauling the financial situation of companies and their relationship with the ANAF, as well as historical arrears, according to Doru Dudaş, head of the Legislation Department - Tax Procedure Code at the Ministry of Finance. The first set of changes will be unveiled soon.


Minister of Transport says legal framework to be taken up next week

The legislative framework featuring the changes requested by road transport companies will be taken up next week, according to Rovana Plumb, the interim Minister of Transport. Among the changes are the elimination of the "repeatedly" phrase and the placing of rent-a-car activities under the control of the Romanian Road Authority (ARR).


Politics (1)

PSD praises Vasilescu, blasts President Iohannis

In a Facebook post, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) praised Lia Olguta Vasilescu for withdrawing her nomination for minister of development and putting an end to the political standoff. According to PSD, Vasilescu was one of the best ministers of the PSD cabinet.