Daily Newsletter - 17 June 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

1.16 million hectares of farmland affected by drought

The assessment and verification process carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that 1.16 million hectares of farmland have been severely affected by the drought, instead of the 1.45 million hectares reported by owners, according to statements made by Minister Adrian Oros at the beginning of yesterday's Cabinet meeting.


Hotel market could recover this autumn

"The hotel industry continues to be attractive to real estate developers and investors, despite uncertainties in the coming months. Strongly affected by the coronavirus crisis, many hotel operators are betting on reopening during the holiday months to restart their business and begin to regain ground. The market could return to a 50-60% occupancy rate for hotels operated by recognized brands by the end of this year, if the epidemiological situation remains stable or even begins to improve," said Colliers International consultants.


Romania to lose USD 2-3 billion in remittances this year

This year, Romania will lose between USD 2 billion and 3 billion worth of remittances, according to Cristina Chiriac, President of the National Women's Entrepreneurship Confederation (CONAF). Last year, Romanians sent home a total of USD 7.2 billion, putting the overall figure for the 2007-2019 period at USD 36.33 billion.


Romania reported second worst industry contraction rate in EU

Romania had in April the second worst industry contraction in the European Union, with the country's -27.7% ranking only behind Hungary's -30.5%. The EU average contraction was -17.3%.


Financial News (3)

Top three bond funds invested RON 127 million in BCR bonds

In December, 2019, the second biggest bank in the country, BCR, borrowed RON 600 million through the biggest issue of bonds denominated in the national currency in the history of the local stock market. The top three bond funds operating in the country - Erste Bond Flexible RON, BRD Simfonia 1 and Raiffeisen Ron Plus (A) - invested around RON 127 million in this issue.


More than 200,000 individuals and companies applied for installment payment deferrals

Almost 200,000 individuals and companies took advantage of the Cabinet decree issued at the end of March to apply for payment deferrals of up to 9 months on loan installments, according to government data.


BCR personnel to return to work in two stages

BCR announced that its staff will return to work in two stages and that teleworking will remain in use even after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to HR Executive Director Andreea Voinea. She added that the bank is subsidizing the employees' commute expenses in order to avoid the use of public transport.


Investment News (1)

Penny Market has RON 2 billion investment budget

Discounter chain Penny Market, controlled by German group Rewe, is planning to continue modernizing its network, while also preparing to open the fourth logistics center. The company spent RON 280 million on network modernization last year, when it opened 20 new stores.


Legislative News (2)

MFP floats new tax break

HoReCa companies could be exempt from paying the specific tax for 90 days, according to a draft decree posted on the Ministry of Finance's (MFP) website on Tuesday. The bill would also extend some incentives granted during the pandemic, such as deadline extensions or a VAT exemption for imports of medical equipment until the end of October.


Bill could amend Labor Code

A bill drafted by deputies belonging to the Save Romania Union (USR) is aiming to amend the Labor Code in order to make work schedules more flexible. Among the new options featured in the bill are the compressed week and the work hours bank.


Politics (2)

USR-PLUS leaders reject PNL statements

Claudiu Nasui and Vlad Voiculescu, leaders of the USR-PLUS 2020 Alliance in Bucharest, issued a press release stating there will be no joint tickets for USR-PLUS and the National Liberals (PNL).


PSD rejects bill allowing Cabinet to issue decrees during recess

The Senate rejected in a 75 to 46 vote the bill allowing the Cabinet to issue decrees during the Parliament's summer recess (July-August). The bill is now on its way to the Chamber of Deputies for the final vote.


Social (1)

Cabinet wants state of alert extended by 30 days

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced at the beginning of Tuesday's Cabinet meeting that an order extending the state of alert by 30 days would be issued soon. The order requires the Parliament's approval and the Social Democrats have vowed to amend it.