Daily Newsletter - 19 March 2020


Macroeconomic News (2)

Cabinet prepares economic measures

The Cabinet adopted at Wednesday's meeting a decree featuring fiscal and budget measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, modifying the Program for Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, extending deadlines for restructuring the companies' debts to the state, and allowing the state budget to be adjusted in the first semester of the year, along with derogations from the Law on Budget-Fiscal Responsibility and the Law on Public Finances.


Banks stopped buying state bonds

Local banks and foreign investors offered only RON 204.8 million at the state bond auction organized by the Ministry of Finance on Monday, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). All bids were rejected. The banks have become very reluctant to part with their cash, as the business community is pressuring the government to suspend loan installments and tax payments.


Financial News (4)

Raiffeisen Bank posts 11% drop in earnings

Raiffeisen Bank, the local subsidiary on the namesake Austrian group, reported RON 779 million in earnings for 2019, down from the record RON 881 million logged for 2018. The result was influenced by the tax on financial assets, a slight slowdown of the national economy in the first half of last year, as well as certain non-recurring events.


Banca Transilvania to buy back stock

Banca Transilvania announced on Wednesday that it would buy back up to 5 million shares, worth up to RON 20 million. The announcement was published on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) website.


BNR pledges to ensure liquidity

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) says it has taken all the necessary measures to make sure payment and settlement systems are working properly, while also providing banks with uninterrupted cash flows for all operations, including cash operations for retail clients.


Patria Bank offers rescheduling option

Retail clients with outstanding loans from Patria Bank who have been significantly affected by the coronavirus epidemic, through temporary or permanent reductions in incomes, by losing their jobs, or serious health problems, will be offered the option to reschedule their installments for up to 3 months. In addition, entrepreneurs directly affected by the reduction in business will be able to postpone or reschedule their payments, on a case by case basis.


Investment News (1)

Bog'Art starts building J8 Office Park

Bog'Art has started building the J8 Office Park building, close to the Jiului subway station in Bucharest. Developer Portland Trust signed last October a pre-lease deal for 30,000 sqm of office space in the new building with Ubisoft Romania.


Legislative News (1)

PSD files bill covering payrolls

MPs belonging to the Social Democratic Party (PSD) filed with the Parliament a bill that would see the state cover 75% of the base salary for every employee whose work was suspended or reduced because of the state of emergency.


Politics (1)

Ten urgent measures

ALDE President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu put forward 10 "urgent" measures designed to limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. "Because any moment lost now can cost us dearly later, I have identified several measures that I think should be taken at once to limit the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and I urge the Government to consider promoting them," Tariceanu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.


Social (2)

Ministry of Defense started installing ROL II hospital

The Ministry of Defense started on Wednesday the preparations for installing the ROL II hospital, which would handle light and medium coronavirus cases. The installation process will take five days, after which the hospital will have to be authorized. The unit is located on the premises of the Ana Aslan Geriatrics Hospital.


Night transit for Romanians trapped abroad

Romanian and Hungarian authorities have found a solution for the thousands of Romanians returning from Western Europe and currently stuck on the Austrian border. The Hungarian authorities will allow them to cross Hungary at night in order to reach Romania.