Daily Newsletter - 17 November 2022


Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (4)
Investment (4)
Legislative (4)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Turnover from market services provided to the population grew in the first nine months of 2022
Turnover from market services provided to the population grew by 26.7% as a gross series and by 30.9% as a seasonally and working-day adjusted series in the first nine months of 2022, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Wednesday. Moreover, turnover from wholesale and retail trade, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles increased by 4.6% as a gross series in January-September 2022, compared to the similar interval of 2021, influenced by the rise in turnover in: trade in motorcycles and associated parts and accessories; motorcycles maintenance and repair services (+6.6%), trade in motor vehicle parts and accessories (+6.4%), trade in motor vehicles (+4.4%) and motor vehicles maintenance and repair services (+1.2%).
Government could approve the second budget adjustment on Thursday, 17 November
Finance Minister Adrian Câciu announced, after Wednesday’s government meeting, that the Executive could approve this year’s second budget adjustment, in which the consolidated deficit would decrease to 5.74% of GDP, on Thursday, 17 November. He explained that the balance of state budget revenues would decrease by RON 1.941 billion for 2022, which would be mainly reflected in profit tax, which would grow by RON 1.6 billion, following the increase in revenues from profit taxes compared to the same period of 2021.
RON 5.616 billion was spent on research and development in Romania in 2021
RON 5.616 billion was spent on research and development in Romania in 2021. Research and development expenditure accounted for 0.48% of GDP, of which 0.29% for the private sector and 0.19% for the public sector, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Wednesday, 16 November. Funds provided by businesses had the highest share, i.e. 51.8%, followed by public funds (including general university public funds), i.e. 31.6%.
The three VIG companies in Romania recorded EUR 570.9 million total gross written premiums
Omniasig, Asirom and BCR Asigurări de Viață, the companies owned by the Austrian Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), ended the first nine months of 2022 with EUR 570.9 million total gross written premiums, up by 38% year-on-year, according to a report published by VIG. As to the three companies’ contribution to VIG Group’s gross profit, the three insurers recorded a gross profit of EUR 20.4 million in the first nine months of 2022, more than 10 times the result reported for the first nine months of 2021. As a result, the Romanian market contributed 5% to VIG’s profit.
UniCredit Bank recorded an almost 14% increase in lending in the first nine months of 2022
The balance of loans granted by UniCredit Bank in Romania stood at EUR 7.3 billion at the end of the first 9 months of 2022, up by 13.7% year-on-year, according to the financial results announced by the Italian group in Milan. The revenues of the Romanian bank with Italian capital also grew following the advance of lending, but also after interest rates entered an upward trend. UniCredit Bank obtained EUR 244 million net interest income in the first nine months of 2022, up by 20% year-on-year, this being the main source of revenues for the bank. Fee income also increased by nearly 9%, to EUR 64 million at the end of January-September 2022.
Patria Bank doubled its profit in the first nine months of 2022
Patria Bank (stock exchange symbol PBK), a credit institution owned by the Emerging Europe Accession Fund (EEAF) investment fund, has reported a RON 14.8 million net profit for the first nine months of this year, up by 106.4% year-on-year, a result boosted by "the increase in operating income coupled with a prudent evolution of risk costs," according to the bank’s financial report. Moreover, the institution recorded a net banking income of RON 138.6 million, up 12.2% year-on-year.
Alpha Bank to implement a payment solution for the online purchase of CFR Călători tickets
The Romanian national railway services operator CFR Călători and Alpha Bank Romania have signed long-term framework agreements to make the ticket payment process more accessible and simpler with the help of electronic means. Following these agreements, Alpha Bank is to provide the e-commerce service allowing the online purchase of train tickets, as well as the Alpha PhonePOS application that will allow travelers to pay for train tickets by bank card while on the train.
Zemo’s aronia juice producer has invested EUR 850,000 in a new factory
Agricola Arimpex, a producer of aronia juices under the Zemo’s brand, has recently started juice production in a new factory following EUR 850,000 investments with the help of European funds. The company also has a development plan which includes brand promotion, portfolio diversification and collaboration with other farmers, according to Carina Ardelean, a shareholder of Agricola Arimpex.
Logistics company DP World invests USD 75 million in two new terminals
DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, is developing a RORO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) terminal and a project cargo terminal in the port of Constanta. The total value of the investment amounts to USD 75 million (own funds and European grants). Thirty jobs will be created in the first phase of the investment, and another 50 people will be employed within the second phase. The company currently has about 600 employees in Romania and has invested a total of USD 120 million over the past 18 years.
Comes from Săvinești to invest EUR 5 million in increasing its production capacity
Comes, a company headquartered in Săvinești Commune, Neamt County, which supplies large pressure machinery and spare parts for the chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas industries, is to invest EUR 5 million in the construction of a new unit, an expansion that will increase its production capacity. Construction works will start in early 2023 and the new unit must be finalized by September.
Holcim is building a photovoltaic park for the cement plant in Aleșd
Holcim Romania is developing a photovoltaic park with bifacial panels, within a project co-financed from Norwegian funds. The project will result in a photovoltaic system with a total installed capacity of 0.999 MWe, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 383 tons CO2/year and an average annual renewable energy production of 1,254 MWh. The value of the investment amounts to EUR 357,400 and the project is being carried out in partnership with International Development Norway AS (IDN) Norway.
Government approved draft law on Integrated Traffic Monitoring System
The Government spokesman announced on Wednesday that the Government had approved a draft law on some measures to render road traffic monitoring more efficient, which included 1,000 speed check systems, 300 mobile speed cameras and 500 fixed speed cameras that will be part of an integrated road traffic monitoring system on public roads in Romania. The new integrated monitoring system will be called e-SIGUR.
Taxes on private pensions will decrease
The draft law introducing a much more advantageous taxation of privately administered (Pillar 2), voluntary (Pillar 3) and occupational pensions, in cases where the amounts are paid to beneficiaries or their heirs as a lump sum or in instalments, has been promulgated by President Iohannis. The measure, previously reported by, should encourage the population to save through voluntary pensions, given that Pillar 2 pensions - although this facility applies to them as well - are mandatory. The provisions of the law will enter into force on 1 January 2024, according to the draft law adopted by Parliament.
Government approved decision amending Government Decision 1767/2004
On Wednesday, 16 November, the Romanian government approved a Government Decision amending Government Decision 1767/2004 on the organization and functioning of the driving license and vehicle registration community public services. The new regulations aim to simplify the process of organizing contests to fill vacant positions for police officers and contractual staff within the aforementioned community public services.
Government supplemented staffing plan for High Court of Cassation and Justice by 15 positions
Government adopted a Government Decision on the maximum number of positions for the High Court of Cassation and Justice on Wednesday, 16 November. As a result, the Executive approved the increase in the staffing plan for the aforementioned institution by adding 15 positions, from 579 to 594 positions, as it follows - eight assistant magistrate positions, four court clerk positions, two IT specialist positions and one contractual personnel position.
European News 
EU College of Commissioners has approved Romania’s integration into Schengen
The European Commission has repeated its call for EU governments to admit Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia to the bloc’s Schengen area, which allows passport-free movement, at a vote in December. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (16 November), EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johannsson said that following recent fact-finding missions by EU agencies, it was clear that "these three nations deserve to feel fully European".
Budget increase for the implementation of the Schools Program has been approved
The Government has approved an increase in the budget for the implementation of Romania’s Schools Program for the current school year from RON 562 million to RON 578.2 million following the rise in costs throughout the production chain and Government representatives’ consultations with associations in the dairy industry. The financial resource approved for the distribution of milk in schools has been increased. The daily value limit for drinking milk and dairy products, without added milk powder, for student has thus grown from RON 0.99 to RON 1.11, reflecting the effects of rising costs much closer to reality, based on calculations made by the Research Institute for Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, government spokesperson Dan Cărbunaru said on Wednesday, during a press conference at Victoria Palace.
Government approves settlement and enrolment methodology for "Out of care for children"
On Wednesday, the Government adopted a Government decision approving the methodology for the settlement of psychological and psychotherapy intervention services and the enrolment in the National Support Program for Children, amid the COVID-19 pandemic - "Out of care for children". As a result, the settlement is made for a RON 120 cost for a 50-minute session. The maximum number of sessions is ten, and the sessions must be held in a maximum period of 120 days. This interval may be extended by another 120 days if the child, for health reasons proven by medical documents, cannot complete all the sessions.
BNS supports the increase in the gross minimum wage to RON 3,000 and the income tax review
The National Trade Union Bloc (BNS) supports the increase in the gross minimum wage to RON 3,000 for 2023 and the review of income taxes by adjusting personal deductions for all salary incomes up to RON 5,500, which would help avoid excessive compression of the grid in the minimum wage area. BNS also proposes maintaining the calculation base for social security contributions, particularly for pensions, at the minimum wage. Trade unionists believe that an approach such as the one proposed by the Government, especially in the case of pensions, means that employees will pay the costs in the future by obtaining lower pensions.