Daily Newsletter - 15 March 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

Industry turnover up in January

The aggregated turnover of industry companies increased by 4.3% in January, compared to the corresponding month of last year, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Thursday. The December growth rate was 2.9%.


European slowdown hurts Romanian exports

Romania's dependence on the eurozone was on clear display as exports grew only 1.6% in the first month of the year, amounting to a total of EUR 5.5 billion. Imports, on the other hand, surged 9.2% to EUR 6.77 billion, leading to an unprecedented deficit of EUR 1.2 billion in January.


MFP borrowed RON 304 million

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) borrowed RON 304 million from the commercial banks on Thursday, at 4.47% per year. The benchmark bonds mature in 63 months, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). The nominal value of the bond issue was RON 300 million, while the banks offered a total of RON 426.4 million.


Labor productivity rises

Romania had the best real productivity per employee growth rate in the European Union for the 2010-2018 period: 42.7%. The 2017-2018 growth rate was 3.9%, second to Poland's 4.8%, although both figures are preliminary estimates.


Financial News (3)

Bad news from BNR

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) announced that the three-month ROBOR rate, which is used to calculate the adjustable interest rates of RON-denominated loans, stagnated at 3.06%.


Michal Szczurek, CEO of ING: Despite the asset tax, we will continue to invest and grow in Romania

ING Bank, the sixth biggest local bank based on the value of assets, will continue to invest and grow in Romania despite the asset tax, according to CEO Michal Szczurek. The CEO added that ING representatives are angry with the authorities for implementing a tax without an impact study or previous consultation.


ING Bank Romania's earnings up 39%

ING Bank Romania reported earnings worth RON 685 million for 2018, up 39% on an annual basis. The bank's revenues amounted to RON 1.8 billion, up 27% year-on-year, while the loan portfolio increased by RON 4.42 billion, reaching a total of RON 25.6 billion at the end of 2018. ING had a 10.1% share of the credit market on December 31, 2018, up 1.2% from the beginning of last year.


Investment News (1)

Continental invested EUR 240 million in local operations last year

German group Continental, the biggest car parts manufacturer in Romania, invested EUR 240 million last year in the infrastructure, equipment and technologies used at its Timisoara, Sibiu, Carei, Nadab, Brasov and Iasi factories.


Legislative News (2)

Cuc: I want the procurement regulations changed

The procurement regulations will be modified. One of the amendments stipulates that companies can no longer challenge the specifications accompanying contracts if they had not taken part in the actual tenders, according to the Minister of Transport.


Minister of Justice says bench decree ready

The Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, stated that the draft decree regarding the five-judge benches was completed and sent to the "decision-makers". "I, as a minister, can speak of drafting a bill. The decision whether it should be adopted or not is not mine," said Toader.


Politics (2)

Orban: We have the strongest EP ticket

Ludovic Orban, President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), said the party has the strongest ticket for the European Parliament election, calling ticker leader Rares Bogdan a champion of the fight against lies. Mircea Hava was described as the champion of EU fund absorption, while Gheorghe Falca was presented as a successful mayor.


PSD to beef up online effort

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) has decided to change the "optics" of its election campaign in order to boost its online communication operations, according to Vice-President Gabriel Zetea.