The Foreign Investors
Council published the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) results for the
latest edition, spring 2022. The survey shows that there is a moderate
optimism among investors, however it is impacted by uncertainty and
current challenges such as: energy market crisis, military conflict in
Ukraine, inflationary pressures affecting supply chains and customer
demand, including the erosion of end-user disposable income, which
possible effects were highlighted in the May edition of the Inflation
Report published by the National Bank of Romania (NBR). Companies want
to invest in Romania, half of the respondents estimate that for this
year the planned investments are at similar levels to last year, and
40% of respondents say they plan to invest larger amounts compared to
the previous period. have plans to expand their workforce and 37% keep
these plans for the next 12 months at levels similar to last year. The
sentiment remains that there is a need for labor, but unfortunately the
perception of the availability of adequate staff remains reserved, only
45% of respondents believe that labor force is competitive. Reforms are
still needed in key areas such as infrastructure, transparency, and
coherence in the application of public policies, reducing bureaucracy
and the burden of regulations.
Romania’s economic growth is expected to slow down to 2.6% in 2022,
following a 5.9% advance in the previous year, according to the
European Commission’s (EC) Spring 2022 Economic Forecasts for EU member
states. For 2023, EC officials expect Romania’s GDP to grow by 3.6%. As
a comparison, in February, before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine,
the European Commission had forecast 4.2% economic growth for Romania
at the end of this year and a 4.5% advance in 2023.
The Government has announced that Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă chaired
the meeting of the Committee in charge of Monitoring Romania’s National
Recovery and Resilience Plan, held at Victoria Palace, on Monday. The
situation of calls for competitive projects necessary for the
investments planned and approved under PNRR was analyzed on this
occasion. Through its activity so far, the Government has proven that
it has met its objectives for each stage of PNRR and will continue to
do so, the Prime Minister pointed out, according to press release
issued by the Executive.
PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu stated on Monday that inflation continued to
be influenced by energy prices, pointing out that companies had not yet
managed to close the compensations chapter. He indicated that a
decrease in inflation depended "on the steps the Energy Ministry will
take in the following period". Marcel Ciolacu also said that the
representatives of the ruling coalition were looking for new solutions
to support the low-income population.
Bernd Spalt, CEO of Erste Group, which also owns BCR, has announced,
one year before the end of his term that he will not extend his
contract which will end on 30 June 2023. His decision is based on a
number of differences of opinion over the financial group’s long-term
strategy. The Supervisory Board will start looking for a successor
after the general meeting on 18 May 2022.
ING Bank Romania has announced that the transition of its cards
portfolio to a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative,
made of recycled plastic, will start in September. Following this
process, the bank will reduce the carbon footprint of newly issued
cards by 75% and the energy required to produce them by 54%. The
transition process will take place in stages and will only target newly
issued cards in order to avoid wasting the existing stock and to allow
the end of the lifecycle of those in clients’ possession that are still
valid, ING officials said on Monday.
Patria Bank ended the first quarter of 2022 with an almost double net
profit compared to the same period of last year, of RON 453,000,
following a 50% reduction of risk provisions. On the other hand, the
bank’s operating result decreased, amid a faster increase in expenses
compared to revenues. The bank plans to issue new bonds. Its net
banking income remained relatively unchanged, at RON 41.6 million, amid
a 17% increase in net interest income, to RON 29.8 million, a 6%
advance of net revenues from fees, to RON 7 million, and a drop in
other types of income by almost half, to RON 4.8 million, the bank’s
report published on the Stock Exchange indicates.
Asirom VIG obtained RON 828 million revenues from gross underwritten
premiums in 2021, up by 30.7% year-on-year. General insurance accounted
for 84% of the underwritten premiums, i.e. RON 695.3 million, while
life insurance policies amounted to RON 99.7 million. The result
corresponding to underwritten premiums for 2021 significantly exceeded
the level estimated last spring, when the company had announced that
revenues would get close to RON 700 million. The mandatory civil car
liability insurance (RCA) segment ranked first in terms of underwritten
premiums, having generated RON 290.36 million revenues, up from RON
161.22 million in 2020.
Italian electrical household appliances manufacturer De’Longhi has
bought a plant in Satu Mare where it will develop a new factory to
manufacture coffee espresso machines. The company owns two other local
production units, in Jucu in Cluj and Salonta in Bihor. De’Longhi will
invest about EUR 28 million for the development of the new factory.
Half of this sum will come from state aid, according to official data.
375 people will be employed for this project.
Subway, the restaurants chain present on the local market since the
spring of 2012, is to open two new units in Romania. One of the
restaurants will be opened in the Aurora Shopping Mall in Buzau and the
other one in the Petrom petrol station in Afumați, Bucharest. The
restaurant in Afumați is the latest investment of businessman Cristian
Dumitru, who now operates 13 Subway restaurants.
Accenture has inaugurated a new headquarters in Cluj for the employees
of the Industry X division, which includes a massage room and a games
room. The Industry X division is in charge of developing industrial
software in areas such as railways, automotive and manufacturing. The
investment in the new headquarters amounts to about USD 1.5 million.
The company officials have indicated that the building complies with
Accenture’s core principles of trust, transparency, a welcoming
environment and comfort, and low environmental impact.
Misavan, a manufacturer and distributor of professional cleaning and
disinfection products from Iasi, has finalized the last stage of its
logistics warehouse in Miroslava Industrial Park, Iaşi County, which
involved the construction of offices and the relocation of the
company’s headquarters from Voinești (Iaşi), according to a press
release. The total investment in the logistics warehouse amounted to
EUR 7 million, including its construction, technological equipping and
stocks of goods. The logistics warehouse project was necessary as
Misavan aims, as a priority strategy, to serve its customers as
efficiently as possible, to meet their needs and, of course, to manage
delivery times as well as possible, given the fact that logistic chains
have been affected in the past two years.
Family Minister Gabriela Firea announced on Monday that the Government
was preparing a draft law on the provision of loans for students up to
a maximum of EUR 10,000 and for young people, up to EUR 15,000. The
Family Minister also said that a meeting with the Romanian Guarantee
and Counter-Guarantee Fund would take place at the Ministry of Finance
to establish the financial criteria, the period of grace and the
Save Romania Union (USR) MPs Silvia Dinică, Iulian Lorincz and Radu
Mihail have filed a legislative initiative meant to help people
exploited by human traffickers. The legislative initiative amends the
current law so that victims who were forced into sex work should no
longer be penalized. Victims whose documents have been confiscated by
traffickers will thus be able to immediately access the assistance
services and other forms of support and protection they need. The
proposal also provides for these documents to be issued within an
emergency regime – in 3 days - and for the listed address to be a
lawyer’s address, a registered office or a post box.
Romania is "strongly" in favor of a "rapid" accession process for both
Finland and Sweden, as the membership of these two states will
strengthen NATO, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Sunday. In a
statement, he spoke of Romania’s strong support for the "Open Doors"
policy which he said brings many benefits to the Alliance. Furthermore,
he noted how important the accession process to NATO was for reform in
Former Prime Minister Florin Cîțu has stated that he does not agree
with a possible repositioning of the tax system. He has also criticized
the Government for borrowing at high interest rates instead of
implementing reforms to benefit from the money from the National
Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). These statements have been made
considering that the leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel
Ciolacu announced a resizing of taxes, while advocating for the
introduction of progressive taxation.
The administration of the fourth dose of the anti-COVID vaccine started
on Monday, 16 May, Secretary of State Andrei Baciu announced in a post
on Facebook. Those interested can go to vaccination centers or to
family doctors. For those who fear that the process might be difficult
due to the closing of some of the centers, Andrei Baciu said there were
over 100 centers open across the country.