Daily Newsletter - 14 September 2020


Macroeconomic News (3)

Infrastructure development mega-plan is mega-business for neighboring countries

Romania's huge recovery plan for the next decade makes transport infrastructure its centerpiece, accounting for 60% of the total budget. In addition to the money provided by the European recovery mechanism, the plan will also benefit from European funds for infrastructure and money from the national budget. The broader the development plan, the higher the imports: Romania produces only 20% of the bitumen needed for building highways.


Orban: We have the fifth highest farmland acreage, but we're running an agricultural trade deficit

PM Ludovic Orban said on Friday that Romania has the fifth highest farmland acreage, but is running a EUR 1.3 billion agricultural trade deficit, with imports accounting for more than 70%. The PM added that, while Romania has natural gas resources, only 35% of the population is connected to the natural gas network.


Romania up five places in world economic freedom index

Romania ranks 23rd in the world economic freedom index released by the Fraser Institute, up five places from the previous report and behind only the Baltic states at the regional level. The index is based on the economic data from 2018.


Financial News (3)

Almost 70% of banks turned profits in H1/2020

The operating earnings of local banks came close to RON 5 billion in the first half of 2020, while the gross profits reached RON 3.29 billion. The aggregated earnings of the top 10 banks amounted to RON 2.67 billion, almost 97% of the total earnings.


New House loans can be accessed through CEC Bank

Starting today, New House program loans can be accessed through the 1,000 branch offices belonging to CEC Bank. The loans carry an interest rate of 4.31% (1.9% + the IRCC benchmark rate) for those who receive their salaries through CEC Bank accounts, with no analysis or management fees. There is, however, a 0.40% fee on managing the state guarantee.


Banking system continued restructuring process

In the past year, 392 employees were laid off by the banking system and 255 branch offices closed. The number of bankers and offices has decreased since the end of 2019, too. The coronavirus crisis could increase the pace of restructuring in banking.


Investment News (1)

EBRD to finance Nuclearelectrica investment

Nuclearelectrica (SNN), Romania's sole nuclear electricity producer, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have called for bids for a EUR 190 million investment project, involving a new heavy water detritiation system. Most of the funding will be loaned by the EBRD.


Legislative News (1)

Romania wants unanimous approval of EU taxation decisions

Romania does not support the move toward qualified majority in adopting major taxation decisions at the European Union level, according to the Minister of Finance, Florin Citu. Citu told the other ECOFIN members that taxation policy is an element of sovereignty and an essential component of national policies.


Politics (2)

Marcel Ciolacu: Children just want to go to school

Marcel Ciolacu blasted the Orban Cabinet for "brazenly wasting 6 months" and Minister Monica Anisie - "the incompetent one from Education" - for blaming the debacle on the local authorities. The PSD leader added that students just want to go to school and should not be "dragged into political wars".


PNL to take part in elections on its own

The National Liberal Party (PNL) will take part in the parliamentary elections "on its own", said Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. However, the PM added that a new majority coalition needs to be formed after the election.


Social (1)

Cabinet to extend stat of alert again

The Cabinet will discuss on Monday a new extension of the state of alert, ahead of the local election, as well as the relaxation of some restrictions. The relaxation measures are designed to allow political gatherings, under certain conditions.