Daily Newsletter - 19 August 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

Massive increase in electricity imports

Romania imported 38% more electricity in the first five months of this year, compared to the corresponding period of 2018, according to the most recent monitoring report published by the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). Imports remained high in summer, a season when Romania used to export electricity.


Industrialists explain industry decline

Statistical data brought bad news for the Romanian economy: exports decreased by 5.5% in June, while the industrial output decreased by 6.6%, which may hurt the still high economic growth rate. INS data indicate a 7% drop in industrial output in June, compared to the previous month. The annualized contraction was 6.6%.


Budget revision could hurt country rating

The government of Romania resorted to a revision of the state budget for 2019 in response to the widening deficit, but the country's pro-cyclic fiscal policies and heavy borrowing require effective measures, according to a report from German rating agency Scope Ratings. The report pointed out that Romania had one of the highest first quarter budget deficits in the European Union this year.


Financial News (3)

30,600 Romanians control a fifth of Banca Transilvania

The average Romanian who is a direct shareholder of Banca Transilvania has invested RON 76,200 in the biggest local lender, according to calculations made by ZF, based on figures from the bank's bi-annual report. Banca Transilvania has 30,630 shareholders who are private residents of Romania.


Patria Bank posts H1 earnings

Patria Bank has posted RON 2.8 million in earnings for the first half of this year, compared to a loss of RON 23.3 million for the corresponding period of 2018, according to a press release. The bank granted RON 342 million worth of new loans, with a solid increase in corporate loans (SMEs, microloans, farming loans).


Teodorovici says no charge for remittances

The Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, announced during a meeting with Romanians working abroad held on Friday that CEC Bank is working on a product that could be launched in September. The product would allow Romanians to send money home free of charge. The bank will open branch offices in countries with large Romanian communities.


Investment News (1)

Electrica boosts grid investment

The Electrica group invested RON 360 million in its power grid in the first half of this year, which puts it on the same level with Enel, traditionally the biggest local investor. According to the bi-annual report, investment accounted for almost all of Electrica's capital expenses in the first half of this year.


Legislative News (2)

Negative capital decree ready

The Ministry of Finance has drafted a bill designed to eliminate the practice of having shareholders grant loans to their own companies. The bill forces all such loans to turn into equity boosts on the threat of having companies disbanded at ANAF's request.


New pension law to come into force in two weeks

The new pension law will come into force in less than two weeks, on September 1. The pension point and the minimum pension will increase.


Politics (2)

PSD leaders rejected Pro Romania alliance

The leaders of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) rejected firmly the proposal to bring Pro Romania into the ruling alliance. "We all know Ponta: he lacks character," said Paul Stanescu at the latest meeting of the party's Executive Committee, according to transcripts seen by "Adevarul".


PM Dancila replies to Tariceanu

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila told Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, leader of coalition partner ALDE, that a party cannot be part of the ruling coalition and the opposition at the same time. Dancila added that she has a responsibility to ensure stability.


Social (1)

21.4% of working age Romanians are abroad

Romanians were the undisputed leaders of the 2018 European index for working age citizens who left their countries to work abroad. According to Eurostat data, 21.4% of working age Romanians are abroad, significantly higher than Croatia (15.4%), Lithuania (14.5%), Portugal (13.6%), Bulgaria (13.3%) and Latvia (11.8%).