Daily Newsletter - 15 June 2017


FIC (1)

Romania and Bulgaria at bottom of foreign investment index 

The Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE) and the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) launched the study entitled Foreign Direct Investments: their evolution and importance for Romania.The main conclusion of the study is that FDIs played a decisive role in the past 20 years and have helped the Romanian economy in its transition to functioning free markets. Considering the large investment needs of Romania, it is likely that foreign investors will continue to play a significant role in the future. Some conclusions of the study that are worth pointing out: Foreign companies employ a third of the work force in the private sector in Romania; Foreign companies are responsible for 70% of Romanian exports; Romania has the lowest stock of FDI/capita in the region; A lot of the FDI in Romania came as equity; Almost half of the Romanian FDI Stock has flowed in industry; Foreign investors contributed significantly to increasing the productivity of the Romanian economy.


Macroeconomic News (4)

Domestic milk output up 1.7% 

Romanian milk producers delivered 1.7% more milk between January and April of this year, compared to the corresponding period of 2016, while imports surged 10.3%, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). The cow milk collected in March was 85,207 tons, up 5.9% year-on-year.


Foreign debt up EUR 1.7 billion 

The national foreign debt increased by approximately EUR 1.71 billion in the first four months of this year, compared to the end of 2016, according to data released yesterday by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). The total foreign debt stands at more than EUR 94 billion.


Final electricity consumption down 3% in four months 

The final electricity consumption dropped 3% in the first four months of this year, compared to the corresponding period of 201, while public lighting and retail consumption dropped 6.9% and 0.2%, respectively, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS).


Industrial turnover up 1.2% 

The aggregated turnovers of industrial companies went up 1.2% in April, compared to the corresponding month of 2016. The previous month's growth rate was 14.4%, the highest since March, 2014, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS).


Financial News (4)

Piraeus Bank sells loans via online audio-video system 

Piraeus Bank has launched an online platform that allows clients to take out consumer loans and have credit and debit cards issued to them through an audio-video link to the bank's tellers. The contracts are signed at a personal meeting between the client and an agent of the bank, at a place of the client's choosing.


EC queries Romania over checking accounts directive 

The European Commission has asked Romania and Blegium to provide information about the implementation of Directive 2014/92/EU on checking accounts. The directive was supposed to be implemented by September 18, 2016, and it offers the right to a basic checking account at a reasonable price to all the legal residents of the European Union.


System connecting banks to ANAF is nonfunctional 

The information system that allowed the local banks to check an applicant's revenues by accessing the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) database is no longer functional. ANAF officials admitted the situation and said the problem is being addressed.


Austrian, Italian and Greek banks lend to companies 

The number of corporate loans granted by Austrian (BCR, Raiffeisen), French (BRD, Credit Agricole), Italian and Greek (Alpha Bank, Bancpost, Piraeus Bank and Banca Romaneasca, Marfin) banks has fallen over the past year, while Dutch banks reported the opposite situation. The retail lending business has been generally expanding, with Greek banks being the exception, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR).


Investment News (2)

OMV Petrom invested EUR 5 million in fuel testing center 

OMV Petrom, the biggest crude and gas producer in South-Eastern Europe, announced on Wednesday the opening of a modern fuel quality analysis center at its Petrobrazi refinery. The old center was modernized and upgraded at a total cost of EUR 5 million.


Timken opens second plant in Romania 

US group Timken has opened its second local car part plant, the culmination of a EUR 54 million investment project. The company had received EUR 15 million in state aid for the new plant, which will produce ball bearings for the group's global network.


Legislative News (1)

Cartel Alfa joins anti-payroll bill chorus 

The Cartel Alfa confederation has joined the chorus urging President Klaus Iohannis to send the payroll bill back to the Parliament with a request to review. The labor confederation has gone the extra mile in asking the President to take the matter to the Constitutional Court, should the Parliament refuse to back down.


Politics (1)

Grindeanu refuses to resign as Cabinet collapses around him 

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has told the Social Democratic leadership that he would only resign if the President appointed another PSD prime minister and if party leader Liviu Dragnea resigned as well. The two conditions are impossible to meet at this time.