Daily Newsletter - 15 June 2022


Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (4)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Romania’s total external debt decreased by EUR 66 million in January-April 2022
Romania’s total external debt decreased by EUR 66 million during the period January-April 2022, to EUR 134.5 billion, of which government debt represented EUR 56.3 billion, down by EUR 2.4 billion against the level recorded on 31 December 2021, according to data published by NBR on Tuesday. Of the total volume, external debt was EUR 93.9 billion and intercompany lending accounted for EUR 40.6 billion. NBR data show that long-term external debt totalled EUR 94.39 billion on 30 April 2022 (70.2% of the total external debt), down by 2.8% from 31 December 2021, while short-term external debt stood at EUR 40.15 billion (29.8% of the total external debt), up by 7.2% against 31 December 2021.
Nearly half of business people estimate that Romania could enter stagflation
Nearly half (46.7%) of business people, managers and senior employees in companies operating on the local market believe that Romania could enter stagflation by the end of the year, which is prompting institutions to secure their businesses, in parallel with a decline in appetite for investments and consumption. These were the conclusions of a survey conducted by the payments institution Moneycorp and the consultancy firm Frames. When asked what the biggest threats for Romanian economy were in the following six months, 33.3% of company executives mentioned inflation – the increase in prices of energy, materials, services; the decrease in sales (25%); the deepening financial blockage (12.5%); partners’ insolvency/bankruptcy (12.5%) and the regionalization of the war (10.5%).
Romania’s current account deficit grew by EUR 3.4 billion in the first four months of 2022
The balance-of-payments current account posted a EUR 7.57 billion deficit during the interval January-April 2022, compared with EUR 4.11 billion in the same period of last year. The current account dynamics continued to worsen amid the rising net imports of goods and outflows from the primary income account. On the other hand, foreign direct investments continued to grow. Romania’s external position is weaker than analysts estimated at the beginning of the year and the current account deficit is about to substantially exceed the 7% of GDP level recorded last year.
BCR continued to rank first in the top of primary dealers at the end of Q1 of 2022
BCR, the second biggest bank in Romania asset-wise, continued to rank first in the top of primary dealers at the end of Q1 of 2022, after the bank had climbed one place at mid-2021, according to data published by the Ministry of Finance. ING Bank, the fourth largest bank on the local market asset-wise, filled the second place in the ranking of primary dealers in March 2022, after having fallen one place in June 2021. ING had ranked first in the classification of primary dealers in the first months of 2021 and at the end of 2020. ING had returned to the top of this ranking in the autumn months of 2020, when it had dethroned UniCredit Bank.
Libra Internet Bank publishes salaries in its job ads
Libra Internet Bank, an employer with more than 1,000 employees on the local market, has started publishing the ranges of salaries it offers to future employees in its job ads, thus marking a first in the banking sector, but also among recruiting companies in the office area. The highest salary is offered to a software developer (Creatio Developer) in the quality management division, who can earn between RON 7,600 and RON 12,900 per month, according to calculations made by ZF based on data from Libra’s job ad.
TBI Bank ended Q1/2022 with a record profit of EUR 10.2 million in the region
TBI Bank, with operations in Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Lithuania, has reported a EUR 10.2 million quarterly net profit for Q1/2022, up by 40% year-on-year. In the first three months of 2022, TBI continued to integrate new partners through the BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) solution and entered the Greek market. In Romania, the bank granted nearly 120,000 loans in the first three months of 2022 and provided EUR 154 million total financings on all the markets in the region where it is present, 40% more than in the same period of the previous year.
Gabriela Nistor becomes General Manager of Idea Bank
On Tuesday, Banca Transilvania announced Ioana-Mihaela Ilaș’s appointment as Deputy CEO, thus replacing Gabriela-Cristina Nistor, who took over the management of Idea Bank, acquired by BT last year. The decisions will enter into force after obtaining the necessary approvals from the supervisory authorities and after finalizing all necessary formalities. All the other ongoing mandate contracts shall remain in force and unchanged, the bank indicated.
Foreign direct investments grew by 34% in the first four months of 2022
Foreign direct investments grew by 34% in the first four months of this year, to EUR 3.149 billion, compared to EUR 2.35 billion in the same period of 2021, according to data published by the National Bank of Romania. The number of companies with foreign capital newly established in Romania increased by 27.8% in the first four months of 2022 compared to the similar interval of last year, to 2,186 units, with a total subscribed share capital of USD 14.008 million, 31.1% lower than the one of companies registered in January-April 2021, of USD 20.326 million, according to data from the Trade Register Office.
Bihor County Council has started a project for the construction of a metropolitan ring road
Bihor County Council has launched a RON 289.4 million (EUR 58.5 million) project, VAT included, for the construction of a metropolitan ring road, which will bypass Oradea in the south, about 5 kilometers away from the current ring road. The financing for the project will be ensured through the "Anghel Saligny" National Program, from the allocations for Oradea municipality and for Bihor County Council. More than 180 million has been allocated for the two institutions altogether, according to a press release issued by Bihor County Council.
Businessman Vasile Dogărescu brings Lacu Sărat back onto the map of spa tourism
Alma Health & Spa Retreat, a four-star wellness & wellbeing resort, was inaugurated in Lacu Sărat resort, Braila County, at the beginning of June, following a EUR 20 million investment, EUR 8 million more than the initially estimated budget. The complex was developed by Eldomir Impex, a company controlled by businessman Vasile Dogărescu, owner of Eldomir gas stations chain and of other agricultural businesses under the same brand, according to data transmitted by company representatives on Tuesday.
Cătălin Drulă says OUG amending the Traffic Code is being "butchered" in Parliament
The interim president of Save Romania Union (USR), Cătălin Drulă has accused Home Affairs Minister Lucian Bode of not taking a stand against the "butchering" in Parliament of the emergency ordinance (OUG) amending the Traffic Code and of thus becoming an "accomplice". The USR leader has also criticized Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu for not participating in the specialized parliamentary committee’s meeting and for claiming he was not feeling well.
PSD-PNL refuses to speed up the adoption of the draft law that would lower fuel prices
On Tuesday, Save Romania Union (USR) requested the PSD-PNL coalition to add USR’s draft law reducing VAT on fuels onto the agenda. PSD and PNL leaders rejected the request made by the leader of USR group, Ionuț Moșteanu, even though the VAT reduction would entail lower petrol and diesel prices, something Romanians have been calling for, including during the protests held during this period, according to a press release of the party.
European News 
French President Emmanuel Macron has come on an official visit to Romania
French President Emmanuel Macron will be on an official visit to Romania and Moldova next Tuesday and Wednesday (14-15 June) and France is "ready" to unblock the Ukrainian port of Odessa. The Elysée announced on Friday (10 June) that French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Romania on Tuesday "alongside French troops" deployed in the NATO forward base, where he will meet the Romanian president. 500 French soldiers are present there, recently joined by Belgians. Emmanuel Macron’s official trip will continue in Moldova, to show France’s support for the country which has been particularly affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine. Moldovan President Maia Sandu recently came to meet Macron in Paris on 19 May.
The average monthly pension grew by 9.9% in Q1/2022
The average monthly pension (calculated by taking into account all categories of pensioners - social security, disability, survivor’s pension etc. paid by national pension houses) was RON 1,846 in Q1/2022, up by 9.9% against the previous quarter, according to a press release issued by the National Institute of Statistics. The average state social security pension was RON 1,772, and the ratio between the average net nominal state social security pension for age limit with full contribution period (excluding taxes and contributions to the social health insurance system) and the average net wage was 54.4% (compared to 50.9% in the previous quarter). The average state social security pension increased by 10.2%.
More than six out of ten Romanians have no savings
More than six out of ten Romanians (66.5%) say they have not managed to save any money, and most (77.6%) of those who have put some money aside have accumulated less than EUR 10,000, according to a survey conducted by CEC Bank in partnership with banking comparator At the other end of the scale, only 9.8% of Romanians have saved more than EUR 20,000. When asked how much money they managed to save each month, 52.8% of those interviewed said they did not manage to put anything aside, 21.8% save less than RON 300, 13.6% - between RON 300 and RON 600, and 5.8% - between RON 600 and RON 1,000.