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Daily Newsletter - 15 February 2021

Summary

FIC (1)

February 2021 Issue | Business Review Magazine

#LeadersToWatch | 10 PEOPLE TO WATCH IN 2021: Ramona Jurubita, FIC President and Country Managing Partner KPMG: Innovation and solidarity, the pillars of 2020. From an economic perspective, Romania performed well last year, under the pressure of the pandemic. Foreign investments halved over the first ten months of the year compared to the same period in 2019, but this was offset by a growth in governmental spending and investment. According to the Business Sentiment Index survey, conducted in September by the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), many participants expressed concern regarding the worsening business environment, the Romanian market’s low attractiveness, and the deterioration of their own initial investment plans. “An important achievement of the FIC during the pandemic period has been maintaining a regular and transparent dialogue with the authorities, in spite of the urgency of the situation, which meant that every policy measure had to be adopted more quickly than usual,” according to Ramona Jurubita, FIC President and Country Managing Partner at KPMG. ( page 20)

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Macroeconomic News (4)

AAC says draft MADR budget lacks compensation funds

The draft budget of the Ministry of Agriculture does not include the RON 1 billion needed to pay compensation to farmers for the loss of spring crops. Farmers warn that the catastrophic situation in which they find themselves will push them to take extreme measures, according to a press release from the Alliance for Agriculture and Cooperation (AAC).

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Government's aid programs to continue in coming years

The government intends to maintain the ongoing state aid programs in the coming years. Some of them will be modified in order to turn them into long-term programs, according to a report by the Ministry of Finance. Among them are the investment support program for regional development, which will offer a total of EUR 100 million to an estimated 1,700 companies.

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National restructuring market maturing

The Romanian restructuring market is becoming increasingly mature. In 2020, the value of fixed assets of companies that accessed preventive arrangements increased to over EUR 1 billion, compared to EUR 15 million in 2019, and represents over 71% of the total value of the assets of companies that went into insolvency and restructuring last year.

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Industrial production down 9.2% in 2020

Manufacturing orders fell by 4.5% in 2020, compared to 2019, a situation that contributed decisively to the 9.2% decline of the total industrial production, as well as the 7% contraction of the industry's turnover, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INS).

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Financial News (3)

Credius launches first AI lending tech

Credius has launched the first lending technology based on artificial intelligence. Credits are granted without any human interaction, and, thanks to the total automation, it takes only 5 minutes for clients to receive their money. Credius is thus strengthening its position as the simplest, fastest and most technological platform for accessing personal needs loans.

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Isarescu: Banks should facilitate orderly exit of failing companies

Banks should restructure the debts of those companies that may become solvent in the post-pandemic economy, while also facilitating the orderly exit of companies that are unlikely to survive, said the Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), Mugur Isarescu, at the beginning of a conference organized by IMF and BNR.

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New loans surge to 14-year high

New corporate loans amounted to RON 48.45 billion lei in 2020, almost 58% of all the new loans issued last year, while new retail loans reached RON 35.45 billion. The volume of new loans granted to retail and corporate clients represents almost 30% of the private credit balance at the end of 2020 (RON 282.4 billion).

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Investment News (1)

Rossmann continues to invest in paper mills

The Rossmann Group, which owns local companies Ambro and Romcarton, both active in the production of pulp and paper, will continue to invest in the modernization of factories in Suceava and Popesti-Leordeni. In the last five years, the group has invested EUR 35 million in its local units. The group entered the local market in 1990, through the acquisition of the Romcarton factory in Bucharest.

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Legislative News (1)

ISC reorganization bill up for public debate

The Ministry of Development has released for public debate the bill for reorganizing the State Inspectorate for Constructions (ISC), proposing the abolition of its intermediate, regional structures, and an ample cost cutting program.

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Politics (2)

Dacian Ciolos denies intention to run for USR-PLUS leader

Dacian Ciolos, co-president of USR-PLUS, said he had not thought of running for president of the party resulting from the merger of the two entities. Ciolos added that his top priority is launching the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

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PNL validates list of local officials

PNL leader Ludovic Orban announced that the party's National Political Bureau had approved a list of 72 candidates for the positions of prefects and sub-prefects, secretaries of state, and heads of agencies.

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Social (2)

Alexandru Rafila: Anti-COVID vaccination could become regular

Professor Alexandru Rafila said vaccination against COVID could be done periodically, similar to influenza vaccines. Two factors could lead to such a prospect: either new strains appear and vaccines will need to be modified and adapted, or the human body's immune response to vaccination will be limited.

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Union members to stage protests today

Members of the Sanitas Federation will protest today in front of the Ministry of Finance in order to show their opposition to the small budget allocated to the Ministry of Health.

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