Daily Newsletter - 18 January 2021


Macroeconomic News (2)

Construction work up 19.3%

The volume of construction works increased 16.7% (gross figures) and 19.3% (seasonally adjusted figures) in the first 11 months of last year, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to a press release of the National Statistics Institute (INS). Residential building works jumped 18.8%, while non-residential increased by 12.9%.


Retail market services down 34.7% by November

The turnover from market services provided to retail clients decreased by 35.6% (seasonally adjusted figured) in the first 11 months of 2020, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Friday.


Financial News (4)

BNR slashes key rate

The National Bank of Romania's (BNR) has decided to slash the key rate from 1.5% per year to 1.25% per year, beginning today. The decision was determined by the recent drop in inflationary pressure, as well as expectations that the inflation rate will remain within BNR's target range for the coming quarters, according to Andrei Radulescu, Banca Transilvania's head of Macroeconomic Analysis.


CEC Bank reports record increase in assets

2020 was a challenging year for CEC Bank. On the one hand, the bank had to deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic while also implementing the modernization plan that was the basis for the capital infusion received at the end of 2019. The bank reported a record 20% asset growth rate after the first 11 months of the year and expects the total value of assets to pass RON 40 billion for the entire year 2020.


ING: Announcement timing suggests BNR is concerned about market reaction

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) slashed the key rate to 1.25%, a somewhat surprising decision for most market players, but still in line with recent developments in the money market. The timing of the decision (Friday, at the end of the trading session) suggests that BNR is vigilant and concerned about the market's reaction.


Banca Transilvania releases outlook

The challenges for the Romanian banking sector in the short and medium term include the possibility of growing non-performance, the incorporation of the digital revolution, the consolidation process, and the development of the investment market, according to Banca Transilvania's analysis. The loan-to-deposit ratio will continue to fall in the medium term, down to an estimated 53% at the end of 2023.


Investment News (2)

EC approved EUR 222 million investment plan

The European Commission has approved a major investment project worth over EUR 222 million from the Cohesion Fund for the modernization and expansion of the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in Ilfov County. The project will connect more people to the sewerage network, improve the water quality, and reduce wastewater leakage.


Fourth District Hall begins building Berceni Road station

The Fourth District Hall announced that work on the new Berceni Road subway station will begin today, at 10 AM. The worker crews will start by rerouting the utilities networks. Traffic in the area will be restricted for 45 days.


Legislative News (1)

PSD senator pushed Kurzarbeit amendment

An amendment adopted by a parliamentary commission, at the initiative of Senator Titus Corlatean (PSD) aims to change the rules of the flexible work program (Kurzarbeit) in order to make it mandatory for employers to secure the employees' agreement before moving to flexible work. However, the amendment has little chance of being passed quickly by the current parliamentary majority.


Politics (2)

Olguta Vasilescu: The PNL cabinet was supposed to recalculate 3 million pensions

Former Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu said the PNL cabinet was supposed to recalculate three million pension cases, but not a single one was recalculated. She added that the pension point was supposed to increase to RON 1,775 last year, the equivalent of a 40% increase.


Minister Turcan says city halls and social workers will face inspections

Raluca Turcan, the Minister of Labor, announced that she had asked inspectors to look into the city halls' social inquiries, something that hasn't been done in the past two years. "I have the utmost respect for the work of social assistance employees, and I know that personnel shortages sometimes make things harder, but I think the Social Inspections must ensure the data is correct," said Turcan.


Social (2)

More than 200,000 individuals made vaccination appointments

The Special Telecommunications Service announced that 209,270 appointments were made via the online platform by individuals qualifying for the second stage of the vaccination campaign between Friday and Sunday. Of the total, 115,954 appointments were made by adults over the age of 65, while 46,806 are individuals suffering from chronic conditions, and 46,510 are key employees.


Students, teachers to be tested only if cases detected

If a student tests positive, then all his or her classmates will be tested for Covid-19 by the school's medical office, according to the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health Andreea Moldovan. The testing is stipulated in the regulations announced by the authorities for the safe opening of schools on February 8, when most schools will resume normal classes.