Daily Newsletter - 17 March 2017


Macroeconomic News (4)

Romania had second lowest inflation rate in EU (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Romania had the second lowest inflation rate of all EU member states. The 0.5% rate posted by the Romanian authorities was second only to Ireland's 0.3%. The highest inflation rates were reported by Estonia (3.4%) and Belgium (3.3%).


Foreign debt down EUR 369 million (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Romania's long term foreign debt was EUR 68.4 million on January 31, down 0.9% compared to the end of the previous month, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). The short-term foreign debt stood at EUR 23.6 billion, up 1.2% over the same period.


Current account surplus (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

The current account of the balance of payments showed a EUR 416 million surplus in January, almost twice higher year-on-year. However, the imports of goods and services are up almost EUR 1 billion year-on-year, while exports grew at a slower pace.


Angela Cristea, EC representative: "Romania's budget deficit could show the highest growth rate in the EU" (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

The European Commission is worried that Romania's budget deficit could be the highest in the EU this year, according to Angela Cristea, head of the EC delegation to Romania.


Financial News (4)

Raiffeisen Bank International posted EUR 104 million in after-tax earnings (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International posted for 2016 a total of EUR 104 million in after-tax earnings from its Romanian operations, up 4.5% on an annual basis. The bank's portfolio of loans reached EUR 4.65 billion, while the total assets stood at EUR 7.4 billion.


Netopia mobilPay handled more than 7 million electronic transactions last year (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Netopia mobilPay handled more than 7 million electronic transactions last year, 4.2 million online and 3 million via text messages. Bucharest card payments dropped to 42% of the total, down 8% year-on-year. Since the number of Bucharest card payments remained constant, that means that online payments are taking off outside the capital.


MIRELA IOVU, CEC BANK: "Banks can turn the interest increase risk into an opportunity" (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Bankers warned yesterday about the risk posed by the rising interest rates for RON-denominated loans. Some bankers say that clients should pay close attention to the interest rates, while others say that the banks can absorb the risk. Mirela Iovu, vice president of CEC Bank, said that the banking system can cope with any risk. "We can turn any risk into an opportunity," said Iovu. Sergiu Oprescu, chairman of the board ar ARB, said that eliminating risks should not mean shutting the banks off from the economy.


ARB: We should be concerned about the small role paid by lending in Romania's economy (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

No country plan can be implemented without a financing plan, but lending plays a very small role in the Romanian economy, even as the economy expanded in 2016, according to statements made by Florin Danescu, executive president of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB), at the Romanian Financial Conference.


Investment News (1)

FDI down in January (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Foreign direct investment amounted to EUR 260 million in the first month of this year, compared to the EUR 286 million reported for January, 2016, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). Last year, Romania attracted a total of EUR 4.08 billion in foreign investment.


Legislative News (2)

EC dislikes milk bill (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

The European Commission has voiced its dislike of the Romanian milk labeling law. Six member states and the EC itself reacted negatively to the bill presented by Romania to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF).


Draft prevention bill negotiations close to end (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Two months after the unveiling of the principles and methods of the new prevention bill, the Cabinet is winding down the negotiations with the business community regarding this bill, in an attempt to keep the promise of speedy passage made by Liviu Dragnea.


Politics (1)

PNL to challenge bill (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

Senator Alina Gorghiu (PNL) said the party would take to the Constitutional Court the bill filed by Senate head Popescu-Tariceanu with the purpose of excluding the president from the appointment procedure for the heads of DNA and DIICOT, as well as the attorney general.


Social (1)

1,000 extra places for vocational students (Source:; Date: 2017-03-16; Author: Unspecified)

The Cabinet adopted a decision featuring the enrollment situation for the 2017-2018 academic year. The mandatory primary system will accommodate 10,000 extra students in the next academic year.