News

Daily Newsletter - 16 November 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Romania’s total external debt grew by EUR 6.82 billion in January - September 2021
Romania’s total external debt, public and private, grew by EUR 6.82 billion, to a total of EUR 133.6 billion, during the period January - September 2021, of which the direct public debt was EUR 59.1 billion, up by EUR 1.88 billion compared to the level recorded at 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 Monday. Of the total volume, the long-term external debt amounted to EUR 97.8 billion on 30 September 2021, accounting for 73.2% of the total external debt, up by 4.6% against 31 December 2020, and the short-term external debt was EUR 35.8 billion (26.8% of the total external debt), up by 7.7% compared to the end of last year.
The turnover of the best performing companies in Romania is equal to 80% of the country’s GDP
The Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that the first ten places in a ranking of the best performing companies in 2020, at national level, are filled by 12,393 companies, economic operators from different sectors of activity such as industry, services, trade, tourism, research and development and high-tech, agriculture, forestry and fishing and constructions. The Chamber of Commerce drew up the classification of the best performing companies in 2020, following the analysis of indicators such as net turnover, operating profit, efficiency of the use of human resources and of the employed capital. The 12,393 companies, with a total turnover of EUR 178.18 billion and an operating profit of EUR 15.08 billion, thus had over 1.2 million of employees, namely 1,279,119, at the end of 2020.
The growth rate of European economies will slow down in the following months
The growth rate of European economies, including the Romanian one, will slow down in the following months, after the spectacular advance recorded in 2021, according to the economists from Erste Group, the Austrians who own BCR. The rampant inflation problem is not characteristic of Romania alone, as price increases have been a problem at the level of the entire European Union this year. The long winter of 2020-2021, the lower energy efficiency of wind farms in 2021, as well as the EU’s stricter climate targets (European Green Deal) have pushed energy prices to new multiannual record highs in the past few weeks.
Foreign direct investments stood at EUR 5.279 billion in the first nine months of 2021
Foreign direct investments stood at EUR 5.279 billion in the first nine months of 2021, compared to EUR 1.677 billion in the similar period of 2020, up by 214.79%, according to data from the National Bank of Romania. The number of newly established foreign capital companies in Romania grew by 43.49% in the first nine months of 2021, year-on-year, to 4,164 units, according to data centralized by the National Trade Register Office (ONRC).
Financial 
ING group’s software development hub is preparing to enter the IT market in north-west of Romania
ING group’s software development hub is preparing to enter the IT market in the north-west of Romania, and will open the company’s second office, in Cluj-Napoca, in the following period. ING Tech Romania has over 1,300 employees, and plans to reach 1,500 people by mid-next year, and had a EUR 68 million turnover in 2020. The company’s expansion by opening a new office in Cluj is in line with both its long-term development plan and with the need to adapt to the hybrid way of working for employees across the country.
OTP Group has entered into a new strategic partnership with SambaNova Systems
OTP Group has entered into a new strategic partnership with SambaNova Systems, the company that builds the most advanced software and hardware systems and solutions in industry to run applications based on artificial intelligence, according to information provided by OTP. The partnership between OTP Group and SambaNova Systems is a multi-year collaboration agreement for the implementation of SambaNova’s GPT Dataflow-as-a-Service solution and for building a programming language model in one of the most complicated languages in the world, Hungarian.
Current account deficit grew to EUR 11.5 billion in the first nine months of the year
The current account deficit grew to EUR 11.5 billion in the first nine months of the year, compared to EUR 7.8 billion during the period January-September 2020, given that international trade generated a EUR 16.2 billion deficit, EUR 3 billion above last year’s level, according to NBR data. On the other hand, the balance of services continued to record a surplus, of EUR 6.4 billion, slightly lower than in September 2020, when it had stood at EUR 6.8 billion. Of this sum, transport had a surplus of EUR 3 billion, and tourism’s deficit deepened to EUR 1.3 billion, from EUR 1.1 billion.
Investment 
Documentation for Integrated Transplant Center in Cluj will be finalized by the end of the year
Cluj County Council president Alin Tişe announced on Monday, 15 November, that the documentation for the Integrated Transplant Center in Cluj would be finalized by the end of the year. The project is worth EUR 200 million and has been included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Cluj County Council’s project aims to build the first transplant center in the country for four types of transplants, namely heart, lung, liver and kidney.
Greeks from Olympus have invested EUR 139 million in the milk processing plant in Hălchiu so far
The company Fabrica de Lapte Braşov, the producer of Olympus dairy products, has invested EUR 139 million in its milk processing plant in Hălchiu locality, Braşov County, in the past ten years, according to company representatives. The latest investment consisted in the launch of the first r-PET milk bottle, made from up to 35% recycled plastic and 100% recyclable. The milk processing plant in Hălchiu was opened following an over EUR 55 million investment and was built on a 25,000 square meter area.
Metav SA will build a new real estate project in Bucharest
Metav SA will build a new real estate project in Bucharest, to consist of blocks of flats, commercial spaces and services, to include five buildings, worth about EUR 120 million, which will be developed in two execution phases. According to an announcement of the company, construction works on the first phase will start in the second half of 2022, on the land owned by Metav SA, located in the Floreasca - Barbu Văcărescu area, and the finalization deadline is of 24 months.
Legislative 
USR MPs propose amending the Public Finance Law and OUG 83/2014
The President of the Senate, Anca Dragu believes that the Reserve Fund available to the Government should not be "a political instrument controlled as the Prime Minister’s wishes", which is why USR MPs have proposed, within a legislative initiative, amending the Public Finance Law and the Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 83/2014 on the remuneration of staff paid from public funds. According to Mrs. Dragu, the initiative stipulates financial allocations from this fund for emergency situations exclusively. It also proposes that the sums allocated to the Reserve Fund should be limited to 0.5% of the total state budget expenditures, and that the Government should justify the money’s allocation in a transparent manner, using clear criteria. Moreover, the Government must present to Parliament a report on the use of the Reserve Fund.
European News 
UN talks on climate change in Glasgow ended with an agreement
The United Nations target of containing global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius "remains within reach, but the work is far from done", said Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. UN climate talks in Glasgow ended on Saturday, 13 November, with a deal that for the first time targeted fossil fuels as the key driver of global warming.
Social 
883,350 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine have arrived in Romania
The National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Activities (CNCAV) has announced that 883,350 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine arrived in Romania on Monday, 15 November and were distributed to storage centers. The vaccination process continues both in the centers in Bucharest and in the rest of the country. So far, Romania has received 15,841,949 doses of vaccine produced by Pfizer, and 10,376,212 doses have already been used to immunize the population.
Ministry of Education asks Health Ministry for clarifications on anti-Covid-19 testing procedures
The Ministry of Education has requested clarifications from the Ministry of Health regarding the working procedure for performing rapid antigen tests to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection of students in schools. The Ministry of Education has also requested the Health Ministry to indicate whether these tests can be done at home, under parental supervision, whether parents’ consent must be requested for their administration in schools and whether the testing procedure applies to pre-school pupils as well.