News

Daily Newsletter - 2 September 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (4)
Investment (2)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Macroeconomic 
Unemployment rate grew by 0.1% in July
Unemployment rate grew by 0.1% in July month-on-month, to 5.1%, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Wednesday. INS revised the Household Labor Force Survey’s methodology in order to comply with the new European regulations that entered into force on 1 January 2021. There were 12,000 more unemployed in July than in June. Practically, the INS no longer includes people who produce agricultural goods intended exclusively or mostly for private consumption among the employed population. The unemployment rate among men was 0.7% higher than in women.
Arrears of the general consolidated budget grew by 4.6% in July 2021
The arrears of the general consolidated budget grew by 4.6% in July 2021, compared to the previous month, to RON 269.69 million, from RON 257.84 million in June, according to the data published on the Finance Ministry’s website. 90+ day arrears increased by 20.5%, from RON 59 million to RON 71.1 million. Moreover, 120+ day arrears were up 0.2% month-on-month, from RON 108.1 million in June to RON 108.3 million in July, and the 360+ day ones slightly decreased, from RON 90.7 million to RON 90.4 million (minus 0.3%). Local budgets’ arrears rose 4.14%, from RON 241.34 million in June to RON 251.35 million in July.
Financial 
Erste is acquiring Random Capital
Erste Bank Hungary’s investment subsidiary, Erste Befektetési, is acquiring Hungary’s Random Capital, a ten-year-old online brokerage company, known for its innovative trading solutions, according to the information transmitted by Erste representatives. With the acquisition approved by the National Bank of Hungary, set to close over the coming weeks, Random Capital’s nearly 22,000 securities accounts and about EUR 200 million in savings will be transferred to Erste Bank Hungary.
BCR Leasing IFN has launched a green car leasing product for companies
BCR Leasing IFN has launched a green car leasing product for companies interested in purchasing new electric and hybrid cars. BCR Leasing’s offer has been developed in order to boost sustainable investments and offers entrepreneurs many advantages, from an up to five-year financing period, to a down-payment starting from 10% of the car’s price and a variable interest rate in euros of 1.9% per year.
NBR’s foreign exchange reserves grew by EUR 2.6 billion in August
The National Bank of Romania (NBR)’s foreign exchange reserves grew by EUR 2.6 billion in August, to EUR 41.6 billion, following EUR 3.34 billion inflows and EUR 735 million outflows in June. The EUR 3.34 billion inflows came from changes in credit institutions’ foreign-currency denominated reserves with the NBR, inflows into the Ministry of Finance’s accounts, the crediting of Romania’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) account following the IMF’s new general allocation on 23 August 2021, inflows into the European Commission’s account and other, according to data transmitted by NBR on Wednesday.
Over 19.2 million cards had been issued in Romania by the end of June
The total number of cards issued in Romania stood at 19,201,775 at the end of Q2/2021, up by 1.4% quarter-on-quarter, according to data centralized by the National Bank of Romania. According to the aforementioned source, of this total, 14,875,692 cards (77.47%) were active ones, compared to 14,592,364, at the end of March. A number of 16,202,595 cards had a debit function and 2,889,638 had a credit function.
Investment 
Grande Gloria Production has obtained nearly EUR 1 million financing
Grande Gloria Production has obtained nearly EUR 1 million financing from Raiffeisen Bank, with the guarantee offered by Eximbank, within the COVID-19 state aid scheme, dedicated to large companies, according to the information transmitted by Raiffeisen representatives. The funds will be used for the acquisition of new equipment necessary for the development of the company’s production activity.
Businessman Radu Apostolescu invested over EUR 3.2 million in an ophthalmology clinic
Radu Apostolescu, one of the founders of the online retailer eMAG, together with his wife Monica Apostolescu invested over EUR 3.2 million in the Clario ophthalmology clinic, established in Bucharest in 2015. They plan to further develop the Clario brand, which has attracted more than 20,000 unique patients in five years of activity. Clario recorded an approximately EUR 50,000 turnover in 2020 and the target for 2021 is to double this result, and thus reach EUR 1 million.
Legislative 
Ombudsman challenged OUG 50/2021 regarding the settlement of students’ commute
On Wednesday, 1 September, the Ombudsman challenged, at the Constitutional Court of Romania, the Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 50/2021 regarding the settlement of students’ commute. The Ombudsman considers that there are some extrinsic unconstitutional aspects, as the Economic and Social Council’s opinion had not been requested, but also intrinsic unconstitutional ones, as the settlement is conditional on the existence of a public transport service, which cannot be guaranteed, but also on certain distance and sum limitations.
European News 
The use of certain fluorescent and halogen light bulbs has been banned since yesterday
The use of certain fluorescent and halogen light bulbs has been banned since Wednesday, 1 September, as new ecodesign and labelling rules come into force across the European Union. Banning the use of these products will help protect the environment. Moreover, the new rule imposed by the European Commission will generate important changes that will lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Social 
A Deloitte study presented the main concerns of Romanian Millennials and Z Generation
The main reasons for concern of Romanians part of the Millennials and Z Generations are education and personal and professional skills development (37% of Millennials and 38% of those in Generation Z), the level of corruption in business and politics (35% and 30% respectively) and environmental protection (29% and 27%, respectively), according to the Deloitte Global Millennial and Gen Z Survey 2021, conducted in 45 countries around the world, including Romania. These differ greatly from the global results, according to which Millennials’ biggest concerns are related to health status (28%), unemployment (27%) and environmental protection (26%), while those part of Generation Z put environmental protection first (26%), followed by unemployment (25%) and disease prevention.
The Minister of Labor announces the formula used for calculating pensions will be modified
Labor Minister Raluca Turcan has announced that the formula used for calculating pensions will be modified and the new method will be announced at the beginning of 2023. Minister Turcan has pointed out that authorities will target the implementation of a bonus system when calculating pensions in order to stimulate people to remain active and continue to work for a longer period of time.
Ministers of Health and Education presented the new rules for the start of the new school year
The Ministers of Health and Education presented the new rules for the start of the new school year. All nurseries, kindergartens and schools will thus function with physical attendance until the infection rate reaches 6 per one thousand inhabitants in a locality. After this rate is exceeded, all students will switch to online education, except for the special education system. Moreover, physical distance will be maintained between students, schools’ indoor spaces will be properly ventilated and the protective mask will have to be properly worn.