News

Daily Newsletter - 15 October 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (4)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Romania’s total external debt grew by EUR 8.4 billion in January-August 2021
Romania’s total external debt, public and private, grew by EUR 8.4 billion, to a total of EUR 135.2 billion during the period January-August 2021. Of this, the direct public debt represented EUR 60.7 billion, up by EUR 3.46 billion compared to the end of last year, when it had stood at EUR 57.3 billion, according to data published by the National Bank of Romania (NBR) on Thursday, 14 October. Of the total volume, the long-term external debt amounted to EUR 99 billion on 31 August 2021, representing 73.3% of the total external debt, up by 5.9% against the level recorded on 31 December 2020. Moreover, the short-term external debt stood at EUR 36.1 billion (26.7% of the total external debt), up by 8.7% compared to the end of last year.
Banks rejected the payment of about RON 762.8 million checks and promissory notes
Banks rejected the payment of approximately RON 762.8 million checks and promissory notes in the first eight months of 2021, down by RON 1 billion (about 58.2%) compared to the level recorded in January-August 2020. Companies’ liquidity level did not decrease in the first eight months of this year, amid the more moderate effects of the coronavirus crisis. A deterioration of liquidity in the business environment would be the first signal of economic downturn.
The current account of the balance of payments recorded a EUR 10,149 million deficit
The current account of the balance of payments recorded a EUR 10,149 million deficit during the period January – August 2021, compared to the EUR 6,549 million level reported for January-August 2020. In its structure, the balance of goods and the balance of primary incomes recorded EUR 2,389 million and EUR 587 million higher deficits. Moreover, the balance of secondary revenues and the balance of services registered EUR 315 million and EUR 309 million lower surpluses, according to a press release issued by NBR. The direct investments of non-residents in Romania totalled EUR 4,394 million, of which equity participations (including the estimated net reinvested profit) amounted to EUR 3,803 million and intra-group loans stood at EUR 591 million.
Financial 
A bonds issue of BCR was processed in BSE’s system on 12 October
A RON 500 bonds issue, due in 2028, of BCR was processed in Bucharest Stock Exchange’s system on 12 October. A new financing of the second biggest bank on the local market, after Banca Transilvania, will thus be traded on the local stock exchange in the following period. The listing of this new financing will most likely take place on 19 October. BCR has two more bond issues on Bucharest Stock Exchange, namely BCR26 - worth RON 600 million and BCR28 - worth RON 1 billion.
NN Asigurări de Viaţă remained the leader of the life insurance market in H1 of 2021
NN Asigurări de Viaţă remained the leader of the life insurance market in H1 of 2021, followed by Metropolitan Life and BCR Asigurări de Viaţă, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF)’s report. NN Asigurări de Viaţă ended the first half of 2021 with a RON 458 million volume of underwritten premiums, up by 8.8% year-on-year. Metropolitan Life ranks second in the classification, with RON 256 million underwritten premiums, having recorded a significant advance, of 31%, at the end of June 2021 compared to the same period last year. The podium is completed by BCR Asigurări de Viaţă, with a RON 226 million volume of underwritten premiums and the highest increase among the players in the ranking, of 66.2% in H1/2021 compared to H1/2020.
Raiffeisen Bank has launched new internet and mobile banking services for SMEs
Raiffeisen Bank has launched the new Raiffeisen Online SME and Raiffeisen Smart Business services for new and existing single-user SME clients, according to a press release. The main benefits of these services are the authentication and authorization of payments through the SmartToken application, the transmission of statements of account with one click, a single payment form, similar online and mobile applications, payment scheduling and payment templates.
Investment 
Government borrows EUR 300 million for an important investment in Cluj
The Romanian Government has approved the Memorandum on the negotiation of the EUR 305 million financing contract between Romania and the European Investment Bank, aimed at supporting Cluj Regional Emergency Hospital investment project. The memorandum was approved on Thursday, 14 October, during a meeting of the interim government led by Florin Ciţu. The seven-level healthcare unit - basement, ground floor and five floors will serve the north-western region of Romania. The hospital will have 849 beds, 19 operating rooms and will benefit from advanced technology, so that emergency medical services at the highest standards, as well as high quality medical services can be provided. It will also benefit from a heliport and will have 1,396 parking spaces.
Local start-up MOCAPP has so far managed to obtain EUR 625,000 total investments
Local start-up MOCAPP, which has developed an online platform that connects marketing agencies and brands with the right influencers for their projects, has so far managed to obtain EUR 625,000 total investments, after having recently attracted new financing amounting to EUR 175,000. The new investment comes from ROCA X (lead investor), and from Netopia Ventures respectively, being a bridge financing up to the round of maximum EUR 1 million that MOCAPP plans to attract next spring.
Ţiriac Group invested EUR 3 million in projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions
Ţiriac Group has invested EUR 3 million of the approximately EUR 30 million investment budget allocated to Ţiriac Tower for projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, such as bicycle storage facilities and locker rooms with showers for those who choose to use the bicycle as a means of transportation. In addition, nine fast charging stations for electric cars were installed, and 52% of the materials used in the project were purchased from a maximum distance of 500 km from the project site. The building has a 75% occupancy rate before its commissioning and will become the headquarters for companies activating in healthcare & pharma, insurance, IT, media services or real estate.
MDLPA announces new investments at Valentin Stănescu - Giuleşti Stadium
The Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration has announced that Valentin Stănescu - Giuleşti Stadium will benefit from a modern DMX (Digital MultipleX) lighting system and from a lighting system for the main façade, with the possibility of integrating the latter into the DMX lighting system. The decision was made during the Government meeting on Thursday, following the re-approval of the technical-economic indicators for this investment project. The additional works, amounting to RON 1,720,944.50 (VAT included), were requested by the final beneficiary (Rapid Bucharest Sports Club).
Legislative 
The draft law which stipulates the provision of special pensions to politicians was rejected
On Thursday, the Chamber of Deputies’ Legal Affairs Committee voted in favour of a report rejecting the draft law initiated by USR on the abrogation of article 210 of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 57/2019 which stipulates the provision of special pensions to mayors, deputy mayors, county council presidents and vice-presidents. Fifteen deputies voted in favor of the report rejecting the draft law, six voted against it and there were two abstentions. The Chamber of Deputies is the first chamber notified in the case of this draft law.
European News 
MEPs adopted a draft report to strengthen the EU’s pharmaceutical strategy
On Tuesday, 12 October, MEPs of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) adopted the draft report entitled "Towards an EU pharmaceutical policy that meets future needs", so every patient has reliable and timely access to medicines. The project was presented by EPP MEP Dolors Monsterrat, and obtained 62 votes in favor, eight against, and eight abstentions.
Social 
A new tranche of vaccines from Moderna will arrive in Romania on Friday
The National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Activities has announced that a new tranche of 355,200 doses of vaccine from Moderna will arrive in Romania on Friday, 15 October. The transport is ensured by the manufacturing company, and the vaccine doses will be brought to Bucharest by land. The doses will be stored at the National Company "Unifarm" SA, and will be distributed to the regional centers at national level in the following period.
About 15% of the total number of students and pre-school pupils are studying online
Interim Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu announced on Wednesday, 13 October, that a number of 459,284 children, representing about 15% of the total number of students and pre-school pupils in the education system, were studying online. The Minister of Education also indicated that 16,316 pre-school pupils/students and 5,425 employees in the education sector had been confirmed with SARS-CoV-2.