Daily Newsletter - 16 January 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

Gas imports surged to 10% of consumption in September, 2018

Beyond dependence on energy imports, in the context of a third of the production capacity not being operational, Romania is witnessing the reactivation of another dependence: natural gas. Right at the beginning of the cold season in September, gas imports began to represent a significant slice of consumption, exceeding the 10% threshold of consumption, following a fall in the domestic output.


Construction market still depressed

The volume of construction work declined by 4.1% in the first 11 months of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017. Adjusted by number of working days and season, the contraction rate was 2.6%, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) today.


Romania's Q3/2018 current account deficit second highest in EU

Romania reported a current account deficit of EUR 3.2 billion for the third quarter of 2018, the second largest in the European Union (EU), after the UK, according to data published by Eurostat on Monday. Britain posted a current account deficit of EUR 35.4 billion for the third quarter of 2018, rising faster than the second quarter figure (EUR 20.9 billion).


Financial News (3)

Banca Transilvania bought back 3.58 million shares

Banca Transilvania bought back around 3.58 million shares for a total of RON 7.37 million between January 7 and 11. The bank paid between RON 1.991 and 2.1177 per share, according to a report sent to the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).


BNR meeting transcripts published

The Board of Directors of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) agreed, at the last meeting, that tax and revenues policies are among the main factors that substantially increase the uncertainties and the risks to the latest medium-term forecast, which also includes not having the draft budget for the current year ready, as well as the fiscal and budgetary measures that came into force on 1 January 2019. The board members noted that the tax pegged to the ROBOR rate would affect the effectiveness and flexibility of the monetary policy, and implicitly the central bank's ability to keep inflation under control.


Romanian bank asset tax discussed in Vienna

A year ago, at the beginning of 2018, all the investors and bankers who came to the Euromoney conference in Vienna, the most important event for investors in Central and Eastern Europe, discussed Romania's 7% economic growth (obtained without macroeconomic imbalances), new investment opportunities, and the fact that Romania had the greatest growth potential in the region. Now, at the beginning of 2019, everyone in Vienna is talking about the bank's tax in Romania, which PSD leaders and Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici called the greed tax.


Investment News (1)

Local investors poured EUR 200 million in commercial properties last year

2018 ended with a very important premiere for the national real estate market. Local investors ranked second in the generated volume index, with almost EUR 200 million spend on commercial properties, a major leap compared to 2017, according to data from real estate consulting firm Colliers International.


Legislative News (1)

Greed tax details begin to emerge

License holders in the electricity and gas sectors will pay the 2% tax imposed by Decree 114, based on the estimated turnover for 2018, which must be submitted to ANRE by February 20. ANRE will calculate the contribution, which can be paid in four quarterly installments.


Politics (2)

President Iohannis: Romania cannot join Schengen area without consensus

"Without consensus, joining Schengen is not possible and we are all working on this project," said President Iohannis at a joint press conference with his Slovenian counterpart, Borut Pahor, held at the Cotroceni Palace. The statement was made in response to the question whether he has a common strategy with the Government to achieve this objective. The president added that Romania needs to make some progress to persuade some states that it is ready to enter the free movement area.


PM Dancila denies threats to rule of law

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated at a press conference held on Tuesday, after the European Parliament's plenary meeting, that the rule of law is not under threat in Romania and that any talk of activating Article 7 is unacceptable.