Daily Newsletter - 14 June 2022


FIC (1)
Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (3)
Investment (2)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Budgetary challenges must be addressed through sustainable measures for economy
The stability and predictability of the tax system must be a priority for the authorities in order to maintain a strong and attractive business environment. Only in these conditions will the private sector be motivated to continue investing in our country and to provide jobs for its citizens. Any change in the fiscal framework without impact assessments and dialogue with the business community, could compromise the potential for economic development, which is mainly based on attracting foreign direct investment. As resulted from the latest FIC Study, the taxes paid by the FIC member companies have a significant direct contribution to supporting the State budget, the economic growth registered in Romania, as well as to building wealth. The results show a detailed picture of the major contribution of large Romanian companies with foreign capital to the state budget, the most important indicator being the level of VAT collection, which is the highest. The report/study provides details regarding the contribution of a representative sample of Romanian companies with foreign capital to tax revenues through the level of taxes paid to the state budget.
IMF warns government to take fiscal measures without delay to reduce deficit
The International Monetary Fund has warned Romania’s government that it must take fiscal measures, must reform the system of taxes and charges and increase the latter in order to bring GDP below 3% and thus prevent the deterioration of public finances. The institution estimates 3.5% - 4.5% economic growth for Romania in 2022 and 2023. An IMF delegation came on a visit to Bucharest during the period 30 May-10 June. The delegation issued a statement pointing out that after a solid recovery from the pandemic, Romania was now facing negative repercussions of the war in Ukraine and rising inflation. In addition, the country is faced with these new challenges from a weak fiscal position.
Annual inflation rate in Romania grew to 14.5% in May
Annual inflation rate in Romania grew to 14.5% in May from 13.8% in April, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday. According to the aforementioned source, the biggest increase, of more than 86%, was recorded for natural gas. Moreover, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) - an indicator used for calculating inflation in EU member states, was 101.22% in May 2022, compared to April 2022.
Government debt stood at 48.4% of GDP in March
Government debt stood at 48.4% of GDP in March, according to revised data from the Ministry of Finance, based on the latest figures regarding the Gross Domestic Product published by the National Institute of Statistics. The Ministry of Finance had previously announced a government debt level of 50.3% of GDP in March. Government debt amounted to RON 593.972 billion in March, of which the medium and long-term debt was RON 573.58 billion and the short-term debt was RON 20.38 billion. Government securities accounted for most of this debt, namely RON 491.553 billion. Moreover, loans totalled RON 91.688 billion.
Romania’s 10-year borrowing costs have reached a new 13-year high
The 10-year interest rate paid by the Romanian state (RO10Y) rose sharply on Friday, 10 June after the publishing of inflation figures, to 8.4%, a record high of the past 13 years. The 10-year interest rate is the benchmark cost including for financing the economy. Romania is already borrowing at the highest rate in Europe, with the National Bank of Romania (NBR) even intervening regularly on the secondary market with purchases to reduce volatility in yields on RON-denominated sovereign bonds as investors are reducing their exposure to sovereign bonds at local and global level, pushing financing costs upwards. In addition to weak demand for RON-denominated bonds due to high inflation and to Romania’s complicated fiscal situation, the local secondary market is illiquid, which makes a moderate sale of RON-denominated bonds push up sovereign yields considerably.
IMF asks National Bank for more exchange rate flexibility
The International Monetary Fund has called on the National Bank of Romania to ensure enhanced exchange rate flexibility in order to support the increase in external competitiveness and the absorption of external shocks. The IMF has indicated that the exchange rate stability targeted by NBR has kept inflation under control and has prevented confidence in the national currency from deteriorating. However, this exchange rate stability has led to a reduction of competitiveness. Under these circumstances, a gradual increase in exchange rate flexibility over time is necessary.
Yves Jean Guenole Lallemand’s term of office at BRD-SocGen will expire
Yves Jean Guenole Lallemand’s term of office as Deputy CEO Global Corporates at BRD-SocGen will expire on 29 June 2022. Moreover, Stéphane Benoit Fortin, Deputy CEO, Treasury Finance, will step down as of 1 September 2022, BRD has announced. Yves Jean Guenole Lallemand and Stéphane Benoit Fortin are to leave the Management Board of the Romanian bank with French capital and will be replaced by Maria Rousseva and Étienne Jean Loulergue, respectively.
BCR attracts RON 700 million from investors within financing with 9.08% interest rate
BCR, the second biggest credit institution in Romania after Banca Transilvania, has attracted RON 702 million from major investors, such as pension funds, mutual funds, or insurance companies, through a RON-denominated green bonds issue, necessary for the minimum requirement for own fund and eligible liabilities (MREL) criteria. According to ZF information, the financing has a five-year maturity, and the interest rate is formed of the cost of the four-year Romanian government bonds (8.120%) plus a margin of 0.95%, which results in an interest rate of 9.07% per year. BCR will finance green projects with the help of this bond issue.
Regina Maria inaugurates a new neonatology department in one of its hospitals
Regina Maria Première Hospital in Timisoara is to expand its maternity department by inaugurating a new Neonatology section. The expansion of the new Neonatology section in Timisoara to over 300 square meters will increase the capacity to 6 incubators in the premature ward and 4 open incubators in the intensive care unit, allowing the hospital to simultaneously care for 4 critically ill newborns and 6 premature newborns requiring special care and treatment. More than 3,200 births were safely managed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
E-Kid Furniture opens new unit in Brasov where it wants to reach 40 employees
E-kid Furniture, which manufactures children’s furniture and owns a plant in Sebeș, Alba County, came from France in 2000. In 2019, the company was taken over by Guillot Sylvain Pierre. In 2022, the company will open a new unit, where it plans to reach 40 employees and wants to implement a buy-back system through which used furniture is refurbished and subsequently sold to other customers.
Romanians will be able to open a free bank account for basic services
Romanians will be able to open a free bank account for basic services - pension or salary, electronic payments or savings, if the draft law announced by MP George Tuță on Thursday is implemented. MP George Tuță announced on Thursday, during the "Financial Education Forum", that he would continue to develop, through a new legislative initiative, the Romanians’ financial inclusion process.
Government has adopted a new emergency ordinance
On Thursday, 9 June, the Government adopted an emergency ordinance on some measures for filling vacant and temporarily vacant public positions with attributions in the implementation of Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. To be more exact, the framework for fast contests will be created, and the average period for filling a position will be 13 days, instead of 51 days.
Several PNL and PSD submitted to the Senate a draft law amending Law 289/2009
Several senators from the National Liberal Party (PNL) and from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) have submitted to the Romanian Senate a draft law amending Law 289/2009 on the Criminal Code and Law 130/2010 on the Criminal Procedure Code. The draft law provides for increasing the age of sexual consent and separately criminalising the offence of rape of a minor and assault. The draft law also stipulates, in the case of child pornography, that "the act of an adult requesting a minor to record, produce, distribute, exhibit or transmit by any means, including electronic means of communication shall be punishable with imprisonment for 6 months to 5 years".
European News 
Romania aims for energy independence in response to war in Ukraine
The Romanian government wants to transform the country’s energy infrastructure and energy mix to attain energy independence, but experts warn there are still issues while environmental groups call for a bigger role for renewables. Last year, 45% of Romania’s primary energy consumption was provided by imports, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics. The country relies on Russian imports for 29% of its gas consumption and a quarter of its imported fuel, according to the Intelligent Energy Association in Romania. Transgaz, the Romanian natural gas transmission system operator, said that annual consumption varies between 11-12 billion cubic meters (bcm) and could increase by another eight billion annually.
22,155 people died in April, 4,059 fewer than in March
11,116 babies were born in April 2022, 2,155 fewer than in March 2022. The number of deaths recorded in April 2022 was 22,155 (11,596 men and 10,559 women), 4,059 fewer (2,208 men and 1,851 women) than in March 2022, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday. In 2020, the number of deaths grew considerably in October, November and December, compared to the same months of 2019, while in January-February 2021 the number of deaths was lower than in the last months of 2020, yet still higher than in the same months of the previous year.
Average net wage grew by RON 30 in April
The average net wage stood at 3,967 RON in April, up by RON 30 (+0.8%) against the previous month and by 11.4% compared to April 2021, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday. The real wage index in April 2022 was 97.9% compared to April 2021 and 97.2% compared to March 2022. Compared to October 1990, the real wage index stood at 227.5%, 6.7% lower than the one recorded in March 2022.