Daily Newsletter - 18 November 2021


FIC (1)
Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (4)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Investments needed for Romania’s energy transformation amount to EUR 70 billion by 2030
The investments needed for Romania’s energy transformation amount to EUR 70 billion by 2030, according to the Foreign Investors Council, and the transition must be made in Romania with the help of natural gas, Eric Stab, FIC Vice-President and CEO of Engie, stated during the Romanian Energy Symposium - SIREN 2021. Green PPA is a solution with long-term contracts through which consumers finance renewable energy plants in exchange for their protection. There are more and more examples in other countries, where Engie partners sign such contracts with global partners, such as Orange or Google.
Romania is among the EU countries with the highest inflation rates in October
Annual inflation rate in the European Union grew to 4.4% in October, from 3.6% in September, the member states with the highest rates being Lithuania (8.2%), Estonia (6.8%), Hungary (6.6%) and Romania (6.5%), according to data published by Eurostat on Wednesday. Compared to September 2021, the annual inflation rate increased in all 27 member states, but the biggest increments were recorded in Belgium (1.8%), Lithuania (1.7%), Spain (1.4%) and Romania (1.3%, from 5.2% to 6.5%).
Research and development expenditures accounted for 0.47% of GDP in 2020
Research and development expenditures accounted for 0.47% of GDP in 2020, of which 0.28% for the private sector and 0.19% for the public sector, according to data centralized by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). RON 4.964 billion was spent for the four performance sectors of the research-development activity last year, of which RON 4.643 billion (93.5%) represented current expenses and RON 320.9 million (6.5%) was capital expenses. Expenditures with applied research accounted for 61.2% of total expenditures for research and development, down by 2.7% year-on-year.
President Klaus Iohannis made several statements about Romania’s economic situation
President Klaus Iohannis stated, in the message transmitted during the "National Top of Companies 2021 - Economy Moves Forward" event, organized by the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that fiscal consolidation was important amid the current challenges so that the budget deficit and public debt should not generate additional constraints for future economic developments. Therefore, the head of state pointed out "the budget for 2022 becomes an essential tool for the implementation of a sound financial conception for Romania in the post-crisis period".
The seven Pillar 2 mandatory private pension funds recorded the first decrease in assets in October
The seven Pillar 2 mandatory private pension funds, which several million Romanians contribute to by transferring part of their monthly gross income and which, amid the recent accumulation of shares, have become the biggest investors at Bucharest Stock Exchange, recorded, in October 2021, the first monthly decrease in assets since February 2021. Thus, according to the latest data made available by the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF), Pillar 2 private pension funds ended October with RON 86.9 billion assets, down by RON 131 million (-0.2%) against the previous month.
BT increases fixed interest rates on RON-denominated retail and corporate deposits by up to 0.65%
Banca Transilvania will increase interest rates on RON-denominated saving products for individuals and legal entities by up to 0.65%, for one, two and three-year fixed interest deposits. Clients’ deposits at the level of BT Financial Group reached RON 99.4 billion at the end of the first nine months of the year, up by 9.3% compared to the beginning of the year. Individuals’ savings amounted to RON 67.8 billion and legal entities’ savings stood at RON 31.6 billion.
BT Mic has so far granted 100 loans for education
BT Mic - a company part of Banca Transilvania Financial Group - has so far supported 100 private schools and kindergartens, with a positive impact for over 6,000 children, since the launch of the Education Loan in February, according to a press release. The loan means access, in a few days, to amounts of up to RON 200,000 with a European guarantee. Those interested can apply for the loan online, on the BT Mic website.
Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Braşov, Iaşi and Constanţa attract over EUR 2 billion new real estate projects
Over EUR 2 billion total investments are currently underway or will be launched in the following period in Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Braşov, Iaşi and Constanţa, according to the report drawn up by Bucharest Real Estate Club (BREC) - Regional Cities, which was released on Wednesday. Commercial property projects totaling over 370,000 square meters (office buildings, logistics spaces, and retail parks), seven large hotels affiliated to international brands and over 20,000 new apartments will thus be finalized in the five cities and in the adjacent regions between the end of 2021 and 2024. The analysis has been made based on BREC information from companies on the market and on data made available by CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, Simon & Partners Cluj-Napoca, IMRA Real Estate Constanţa and EST Hospitality.
Topband Europe has rented 11,000 square meters in Olympian industrial park in Timişoara
Topband Europe, a manufacturer of smart controllers for household appliances and electrical equipment, has rented 11,000 square meters in the Olympian industrial park in Timişoara, a transaction that marks the Chinese company’s entrance onto the Romanian market. According to Shengxiang Ye, the general manager of Topband Europe, the company will create more than 1,000 jobs in the area within the next four years, within a EUR 30 million total investment.
Development Ministry invests EUR 38 million for rehabilitation of Romanian Academy’s headquarters
On Wednesday, the Romanian government approved, through a government decision, the technical-economic indicators for the rehabilitation, consolidation, modernization, extension and equipping of the Romanian Academy’s historic headquarters and for the construction of a new wing, according to a press release. The investment aims to turn the Romanian Academy into a historic building to be used as a museum, arranged according to the European standards imposed for the museums in the great capital cities of the world.
A new COVID hospital in Baia Mare receives over EUR 14 million financing
The financing contract through which "Dr. Constantin Opriş" County Emergency Hospital in Baia Mare receives RON 14.36 million financial support has been signed. The money will be invested in the construction and equipping of the modular hospital in Baia Mare, Maramureş County Council has transmitted. The money is allocated from European funds, within the Large Infrastructure Operational Program (POIM).
Senate completed the law which sanctions incitement to hatred, violence and discrimination
During the plenary session on Wednesday, the Senate completed, in accordance with the Constitutional Court of Romania’s decision, upon re-analysis, the law amending article 369 of the Criminal Code which sanctions incitement to hatred, violence and discrimination, by having included the discrimination criteria. There were 108 votes "in favor" and 13 votes "against". The law, initiated by the Government in February, had been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making body, on 30 June and challenged at the Constitutional Court by President Klaus Iohannis due to the lack of criteria in the content of the crime incrimination norm.
Implementation norms of Law on energy price capping and compensation will be finalized this week
The implementation norms of the Law on the capping and compensation of the energy price will be finalized this week, having been put up for debate by the ministry on Wednesday, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu announced. He gave assurances that there would not be any problems with the National Energy System this winter. He indicated that the entire support scheme was estimated to have an impact of RON 3 billion on the state budget for this winter.
European News 
EU foreign and defense ministers welcomed the first blueprint of the bloc’s future military strategy
EU foreign and defense ministers welcomed the first blueprint of what the bloc’s future military strategy could look like, marking only the very start of the debate. Some member states, however, already signaled amendments are to come in the next steps of the process. The EU’s Strategic Compass, meant to bolster the bloc’s military capabilities in light of the new threats facing the EU, is to "set out a common strategic vision for EU security and defense for the next 5-10 years". On late Monday, 15 November, EU foreign and defense ministers had jointly received their first run-down of the document, drawn up by the EU’s diplomatic service (EEAS) and national security agencies.
Education Minister announces new deadline by which Covid-19 saliva testing kits will reach schools
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has announced a new deadline by which the Covid-19 saliva testing kits will reach schools - the middle of next week, even though they were expected at the end of this week. This postponement occurs considering that it is not yet clear whether these tests can be done at home, by parents, or in schools exclusively.
Ministry of Health has distributed a new tranche, of over 6,600 vials of Remdesivir
The Ministry of Health has announced that it has distributed a new tranche, of over 6,600 vials of Remdesivir to 69 hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. Moreover, a new contract has been concluded for the acquisition of over 1,400 vials of Tocilizumab, a medicine used for patients with severe forms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remdesivir was the first treatment authorized for patients infected with the novel coronavirus and received a conditional marketing authorization.
The National Council of Students has criticized authorities once again
The National Council of Students has criticized authorities once more. This time, the students have criticized authorities’ lack of interest in adopting additional protection measures in schools, given the current epidemiological context. The National Council of Students has requested that public health experts should issue recommendations regarding the non-invasive testing process in schools, so that the educational process should not be affected.