Daily Newsletter - 14 September 2018


Macroeconomic News (4)

Romania's total foreign debt up EUR 4.1 billion

Romania's total foreign debt reached EUR 97.58 billion in the first seven months of this year, up EUR 4.1 billion from the corresponding period of last year, according to data released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) on Thursday. The long-term debt accounted for EUR 66.9 billion of the aggregated sum, down 2.4% year-on-year.


Current account deficit passed EUR 4.8 billion

The current account deficit for the first seven months of the year exceeded EUR 4.8 billion, up 15.6% compared to the corresponding period of last year, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). By comparison, the current account deficit for the first seven months of 2017 was EUR 4.162 billion.


Cabinet slashed EUR 41.5 million in investment funds

Despite assurances that the Dancila Cabinet is hard at work on transport infrastructure projects, the Ministry of Transport slashed the budgets of some major investment projects, while stagnating projects received no funds at all. An official reply to a question asked by Deputy Catalin Drula (USR) showed that the Ministry had slashed the funds allocated to projects by EUR 41.5 million.


Sunflower and maize prices rise

The current acquisition price for sunflower deliverable in Constanta hovers around RON 1,335, down RON 100 from the previous September. A study by showed that the price has rallied recently, after a long fall. The latest USDA reports indicate that exports are rising and stocks are falling.


Financial News (2)

Garanti shares down 44% this year

The market value of Garanti Bank, the second biggest bank in Turkey and the tenth biggest bank in Romania, has contracted 44% since the beginning of this year. The BIST100 index of the Istanbul market is down 18.55%.


Neacsu and Mitrache compete for CEO position

The future CEO of CEC Bank will be either Bogdan Neacsu, currently a VP at Patria Bank, or Laurentiu Mitrache, former head of Leumi Bank. The two are the only names on the state's short list. The CEO position became vacant when the Ministry of Finance decided to split the executive and administrative leadership held by Radu Ghetea.


Investment News (2)

Lidl to open five stores this year, 15 in 2019

German discounter Lidl, the third strongest player of the national food retail market, will open five new stores across the country before the end of this year, followed by 15 more in 2019, according to Communication Director Cristina Hanganu. "We're growing at an average pace of 15 stores per year. We operate 230 stores now and we'll open five more this year," said Hanganu.


EC to finance Trunkline 6 project

The project for building Trunkline 6, the subway line connecting the Henri Coanda International Airport to Bucharest in general and the North Railroad Station in particular, will receive financing from the European Commission. The Ministry of Transport announced the two sides are negotiating the total value of grants the EC could provide under the Major Infrastructure Operational Program (POIM).


Legislative News (1)

Chamber passes insurance distribution bill

The insurance distribution bill, known as the IDD (insurance distribution directive), was passed yesterday by the Chamber of Deputies. The bill is now on its way to President Klaus Iohannis to be signed into law. All brokers and insurers will have to comply with the new regulations for selling insurance policies beginning with October 1, 2018.


Politics (2)

President met with Venice Commission delegation

President Klaus Iohannis met with the Venice Commission delegation on Thursday. The President told the delegates that the recent modification of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code affects the predictability and stability of the national judiciary, especially since some changes are designed to help politicians under investigation for corruption.


Negrescu: Romania ready to organize informal EU summit

Romania is ready to host on May 9, 2019, the informal summit of heads of state and government from the European Union and the Romanian government is making the necessary efforts to assure the event's success, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Social (2)

Government launches cash for old appliances program

The Environment Fund Administration (AFM) budget received an extra RON 714.7 million. The funds will be used for the premiums paid to citizens who turn in old cars under the Rabla program, as well as for launching a similar program for home appliances. Part of the money will go toward setting up recharging stations for electric vehicles and financing the acquisition of solar panels by households that are not connected to the national grid.


INS: A third of population cannot pay debts

Approximately 32% of households failed to keep up with major expenses repeatedly (house maintenance, loan installments, utility bills etc) because of their unsatisfying financial situation, according to a survey conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INS). The most frequent situation was the failure to pay the power bill (51% of households in arrears), maintenance (50%) and the phone bill (36.3%).