The government has finalized the analysis for the last budget adjustment of 2022, which will be a positive one. The budget deficit will be reduced from 5.84% to 5.74%. Moreover, the legal framework for increasing Bucharest City Hall’s debt level has been created, in order to allow payments for district heating transport, distribution and supply to the population. The government will continue to draw up next year’s draft budget so that it can be approved in the first half of December.
Economic growth slowed to 1.3% in Q3/2022 compared to the previous quarter, as GDP rose 1.8% in Q2 compared to the first three months. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INS)’s flash estimate, GDP grew by 4% as a gross series and by 4.7% as a seasonally adjusted series in Q3/2022 year-on-year. Moreover, the Gross Domestic Product increased by 4.3% as a seasonally adjusted series during the period 1 January - 30 September 2022, compared to the corresponding period of 2021.
Romania recorded the third highest year-on-year GDP growth rate in the European Union in the third quarter of 2022, of 4.7%, after Cyprus (5.4%) and Portugal (4.9%) and ahead of Poland (4.4%) and Hungary (4.1%), according to Eurostat data. Moreover, Romania had the highest GDP growth rate in Q3/2022 compared with the previous quarter, of 1.3%, the same as Cyprus, followed by Poland (0.9%) and Sweden (0.7%). Belgium, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia recorded decreases compared with the second quarter of this year.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) supports the Romanian Government in absorbing European funds during the 2021-2027 programming period, according to a press release. The cited source indicates that the Ministry of European Projects and Investments and the EBRD signed an Agreement regarding assistance for the implementation of projects financed from EU funds on Tuesday, 15 November, in Bucharest. The agreement is the framework through which the EBRD will provide technical assistance to strengthen the Government’s capacity to draw up policies and strategies, as well as to plan, design and implement projects. This is the third such agreement, which illustrates the long-lasting positive collaboration between the Government and the EBRD, both through financing investments and through the provision of assistance to support key reforms in Romania.
Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) had a very good evolution in the first three quarters of 2022 given the major geopolitical and economic challenges. All key indicators continued to improve compared to the same period of 2021. Profit before tax, which stood at EUR 413.4 million, was about 10% above the level recorded in the similar interval of last year. The financial result (excluding companies consolidated through the equity method) was EUR 479.2 million, down by 8.4% year-on-year, mainly due to measures already taken in the first and second quarters of the year amid exposure on government and corporate bonds in Russia. The group’s net profit grew by 10.1% compared to the first nine months of 2021, to EUR 302.4 million.
Credit Europe Bank Romania has announced the results of the draw for the 51 winners of the CardAvantaj campaign "Win wishes in the form of prizes", carried out during the period 7 July - 31 August 2022. Within the campaign, clients had the possibility to apply for a CardAvantaj credit card, thus qualifying for the grand raffle to win one of the 50 prizes worth RON 1,000 in cash transferred back onto their card, or the grand prize worth RON 10,000 cash back onto the card.
In October, Banca Transilvania exceeded the threshold of one million Instant Payments in RON made in one month, according to a press release. The cited source indicates that the Instant Payments service allows clients of banks in Romania that join this system - so far, Banca Transilvania, BCR, BRD, Raiffeisen Bank, CEC Bank, Libra Internet Bank, Vista Bank, Patria Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank - to transfer money in a few seconds, free of charge and 24/7, through banking applications, Mobile Banking or Internet Banking.
TBI Bank and Christian Tour travel agency have entered into a partnership targeting a "buy now, pay later" payment solution that allows Romanians to pay for their holidays purchased through Christian Tour. The collaboration involves financing the holiday packages offered in all 39 Christian Tour units, which can be subsequently repaid in fixed monthly instalments. TBI Bank is a challenger bank in South-Eastern Europe and the main BNPL ("buy now, pay later") player in the region, targeting consumers, merchants and SMEs, offering financing and additional integrated services through an extensive network of "phygital" channels and platforms.
General Mayor of Bucharest Nicușor Dan has announced that Bucharest will have a Multi-Organ Transplant Center that will operate within "Sfânta Maria" Clinical Hospital. The over RON 600 million investment will be covered from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and from the local budget of Bucharest municipality. The project for the endorsement of the technical-economic indicators, initiated by the Administration of Hospitals and Healthcare Services in Bucharest (ASSMB), an institution under Deputy Mayor Horia Tomescu’s coordination, has already been approved by general councilors.
Provita Medical Group, founded by physician Ovidiu Palea, has opened its first clinic outside Bucharest, in Suceava, following a EUR 2.5 million investment, where an integrated Pain Therapy Center will also operate. The clinic offers patients access to imaging equipment, examinations, medical tests, biopsies, minimally invasive procedures and medical rehabilitation services. Provita’s first imaging center was opened in 2011, within the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and in 2012, the company took over an outpatient clinic.
Orange continues to invest in Romania’s digital transformation and, following the finalization of the spectrum auction organized by the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM), it announces that it has won the right to use 220 MHz in the 700 MHz, 1500 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz frequencies. The acquired spectrum will contribute, over the next 25 years, to the development of the latest technologies in Orange networks and to future innovations in national mobile communications, which will allow clients to benefit from the best quality of services, coverage and connectivity at the highest standards.
On Tuesday, 15 November, President Klaus Iohannis signed the decrees enacting the Law on judges and prosecutors’ statute, the Law on the organization of the judiciary and the Law on the Superior Council of Magistracy. The Senate, as the decision-making body, had adopted the three normative acts on 17 October. Disciplinary offences concerning the manifest and unjustified non-compliance with decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, of the Constitutional Court of Romania and of the High Court of Cassation and Justice in the settlement of appeals in the interest of the law or in the settlement of law matters were removed from the Law on judges and prosecutors’ statute, in accordance with Articles 20 and 148 of the Constitution of Romania, republished.
The Chamber of Deputies’ Budget-Finance Committee has decided that the new method of calculating taxes on buildings, based on the guidelines regarding minimum values of real estate properties, stipulated in Government Ordinance 16/2022 amending the Fiscal Code, will apply starting from 1 January 2025, with eliminating the provisions introduced in the Senate which involved a 50% increase in local taxes. Ordinance 16/2022 amending and completing Law 227/2015 on the Fiscal Code, the repeal of several normative acts and other financial-fiscal measures, previously adopted by the Senate, received a favorable report with amendments from the Chamber of Deputies’ Budget Committee on Tuesday, 15 November, with 20 votes in favor and 5 against.
The Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization has come up with several clarifications regarding the draft law on Romania’s cybersecurity and defense, which has been up for public consultation since 4 November, considering that the Association for Technology and the Internet (APTI) warned that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) or the Ministry of National Defense (MApN) could benefit from increased and discretionary access to security issues and individuals’ data, and that cybersecurity service providers would turn into professional whistleblowers. The Ministry of Research has thus explained that authorities such as SRI, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), MAPN, the Home Affairs Ministry (MAI) and the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) already have powers to ensure the prevention and combating of cybersecurity threats to Romania’s national security, and the draft law it has initiated only completes Law 51/1991 by adding new types of cyber-threats to Romania’s national security, "with a view to ensuring proper protection in the field of cyber-intelligence".
On Tuesday, 15 November, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the normative act amending paragraph 1 of Article 64 of Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 195/2002 on traffic on public roads, allowing the Traffic Police to order the removal of illegally parked vehicles. The Head of State also promulgated, on the same day, the law establishing the organizational framework for the operation of the Entry/Exit System and of the European Travel Information and Authorization System at national level.
Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations were considering a draft resolution on Tuesday (15 November) in which most members strongly condemn the war in Ukraine and stress it is exacerbating fragilities in the global economy, diplomats said. The summit on the Indonesian island of Bali is the first G20 leaders’ meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The war, which Russia has described as a "special military operation", has overshadowed the meeting despite calls from host Indonesia for unity and to focus on action to resolve global economic problems like inflation, and food and energy security.
Financial situation is most important for Generation Z, more important than personal satisfaction related to family or even health, as illustrated by the study designed and coordinated by the specialists of the national entrepreneurial programs "I Want to Be an Entrepreneur" (VSFA) and "Insights" - within the Romanian Business Leaders (RBL) organization and conducted at national level by market research agency IZI data. Girls in particular feel the need for financial security, the majority (52%) being concerned about this topic compared to only 42% of boys, for whom the desire to have a successful career and that of having freedom of decision are almost equally important.