News

Daily Newsletter - 17 November 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (4)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Specialists claim that Romania could reach double-digit inflation in 2021 or next year
Adrian Codirlaşu, Vice President of CFA Romania, believes that Romania could reach double-digit inflation this year or next year, due to the growing volatility of the three elements (energy, gas and fuels) that had the biggest impact on the increase in the Consumer Price Index. This projection exceeds the National Bank of Romania’s latest forecast, launched several days ago, which estimated that the highest level of inflation would be 8.6% in Q2 of 2022.
National Commission of Strategy and Prognosis maintained its GDP growth estimates for 2021 at 7%
The National Commission of Strategy and Prognosis has maintained its GDP growth estimates for 2021 at 7%, but has revised downwards the data for 2022, to 4.6% from 4.9% in the summer report. Inflation could end the year at 7.7%, compared to 5%, the projection from August. The National Commission of Strategy and Prognosis has published an update of the estimates on the evolution of the economy, keeping the forecasts for GDP growth this year at 7%, as in the August report, but changed the inflation data, the forecast for the end of 2021 being 7.7%, from 5% in summer.
Romania’s economic growth slowed down to 0.3% in Q3 of 2021
Romania’s economic growth slowed down to 0.3% in Q3 of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, while GDP grew by 7.2% as a gross series and by 8% as an adjusted series year-on-year, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. Moreover, the figures regarding GDP growth in Q1 of 2021, compared with the previous quarter, were revised downwards, to 2.2%, from 2.6%, and those for the second quarter of 2021, compared to the previous quarter, were revised downwards to 1.5%, from 1.9%.
Financial 
Insurance companies’ debts grew by 8% in H1/2021
Insurance companies’ assets and liabilities recorded 7% and 8% advances at the end of the first six months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF)’s report. Insurance companies’ assets thus grew by 7%, to RON 24.8 billion, while their liabilities were up 8% in H1/2021, to RON 19.3 billion. The excess of assets over liabilities stood at about RON 5.5 billion at the end of June 2021, slightly higher, by 2%, than the level recorded in the same interval of 2020.
Patria Bank ended the first nine months of 2021 with a net profit of RON 7.2 million
Patria Bank ended the first nine months of 2021 with a net profit of RON 7.2 million, up by 20% year-on-year, mainly supported by the favorable evolution of operating income, but also by the reduction of operating costs which led to a 66% higher operating profit. In 2021, the bank owned by Emerging Europe Accession Fund (EEAF) investment fund granted over RON 762 million new loans, up by 28% compared to the end of 2020.
Groupama is expanding its team of virtual assistants based on Druid technology
Insurance company Groupama has expanded the ways it can come into and remain in contact with clients through a virtual assistant, called Amelie, using the conversational technology developed by the start-up Druid. The assistant instantly answers questions asked by clients or by persons visiting Groupama’s website, regardless of the time. The Amelie Chatbot can provide useful information about the main product categories in Groupama portfolio’s - Car, Travel, Properties and Goods, Life or Health Insurance. Clients can find out more details about how these products can be purchased, about procedures for notifying damages and necessary documents, settlement deadlines or details related to emergency assistance.
Investment 
Teilor obtained a credit line and an investment loan worth EUR 8.47 million altogether
Teilor, the luxury jewelry stores chain present in Central and Eastern European, has obtained a credit line and an investment loan worth EUR 8.47 million altogether from EximBank. The capital granted by the bank will be used for the acquisition of jewelry stocks and for investments in the stores that TEILOR will open abroad.
Sibiu municipality bought 40 ecological buses following a RON 77 million investment
Sibiu City Hall announced on Tuesday, 16 November, that the delivery of the 40 ecological buses had started. The buses will be delivered within the following month, but will be put into operation starting from March 2022, after their registration and after conducting the necessary technical inspections. The contract signed by Sibiu City Hall in June 2021 provides for the delivery of eleven 18 meter-long buses and of twenty-nine 12 meter long buses, the investment amounting to RON 77 million. This contract includes the creation of a mobile application and of a passenger information system in bus stops, a more modern e-ticketing system and a fleet management system on the routes.
Elis Pavaje finalized the investment in photovoltaic panels at the plant in Vinţu de Jos, in October
The company Elis Pavaje finalized the investment in photovoltaic panels at the plant in Vinţu de Jos, in October, according to a press release sent to the editorial office. The investment amounted to EUR 150,000 and was made from the company’s own funds. The electrical power generated by the sun successfully replaces the power generated by fossil fuels. This means that greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by using solar power. The gases generated in the process of burning fossil fuels lead to rising temperatures and climate change. Climate change already causes serious environmental problems and even affects people’s health.
Hagag Development Europe announces the acquisition of the Susai Hotel
Real estate developer Hagag Development Europe is consolidating its local portfolio and announces the acquisition of the Susai Hotel in Predeal mountain resort. The company is considering about EUR 60 million investments for the renovation and modernization of the property, which will operate as a hotel, the same as at present. Currently in the design phase, the future project will be called H Susai and will be developed based on references specific to the international concept BIO & SPA hotel, which involves integrating as many green elements as possible, supplying energy from renewable sources, certified organic restaurants, supplied from organic sources, etc.
Legislative 
President Klaus Iohannis promulgated a new law
On Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the normative act amending the National Education Law 1/2011, with a view to adding a new field of key competences, namely financial and legal competences, to the primary and secondary education’s national curriculum. The law had been adopted by the Senate, the decision-making body, on 18 October.
Deputies have adopted a new draft law
The Chamber of Deputies adopted, as the decision-making body, the proposal approving Government Emergency Ordinance 33/2021 amending and completing Law 156/2000 on the protection of Romanian citizens working abroad. The draft law thus establishes additional obligations for recruitment agents and recruitment service providers, for enhanced protection of Romanian citizens looking for a job abroad.
Chamber of Deputies adopted a draft law amending a provision of Law 227/2015
The Chamber of Deputies adopted, as the decision-making body, a draft law amending a provision of Law 227/2015 on the Fiscal Code, with a view to applying a reduced VAT rate of 5% for textbooks and books in audio, multimedia or electronic format. The law will be sent to promulgation. According to the explanatory statement, this initiative aims to support reading, especially among the younger generations (those who extensively use electronic devices such as tablets, phones).
European News 
PNL and PSD have largely agreed on a governing program
The center-right party PNL and the socialist PSD have largely agreed on a governing program, but the prime minister’s name is not yet settled. President Klaus Iohannis has the final say in choosing the future prime minister. Together with their junior allies from UDMR, the two parties have talked about the possibility of having a rotation for the position of prime minister. But many leaders from PNL are opposing this proposal, and a solution is expected from President Iohannis.
Social 
Nelu Tătaru stated that a 30-day deadline for free Covid-19 testing had been accepted
The chairman of the Chamber of Deputies’ Committee on Health, Nelu Tătaru stated on Tuesday, 16 November, that a 30-day deadline for free Covid-19 testing had been accepted, both for the public and for the private sector, within the law regarding the green certificate at the workplace. Mr. Tătaru indicated that the overall law had been discussed during the Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, and the amendments submitted by PNL, PSD and AUR had been presented, so that the members of the Committee could take note of all those amendments.
Romania will receive over 4,000,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in November
Romania will receive another 2,000,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine this month, the total for November being 4,001,400 doses of this type of vaccine, according to Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health Andrei Baciu. He has indicated that Romania had received a total of 26,585,599 doses of vaccine by 15 November, of which Pfizer-BioNTech - 16,865,699, Moderna - 3,182,400, AstraZeneca - 3,374,000, Johnson & Johnson - 3,163,500 doses.