Daily Newsletter - 20 March 2017


Macroeconomic News (5)

Valentin Lazea: Absorption of EU funds could lead to a 4.5% increase of potential GDP 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told the officials of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) that a 95% absorption of the European funds would lead to increasing the potential GDP to 4.5%, said Wednesday Valentin Lazea, Chief economist of the National Bank of Romania, at the launch of the “2017 Economic Report for Romania”. “The IMF, which is now in Romania, made a presentation at the National Bank and said that if the European funds could be attracted much better than now and reach 95%, which is a dream, and if this absorption rate would translate into investments where needed, potential GDP, based only on these two elements could be 4.5%. So, potential growth by attracting financing and investments, aside from all other things, demography, health, could be 4.5%. That is not a story I invented,” said Valentin Lazea, according to Agerpres.


Good traffic through Romania's ports up 4% last year 

The total weight of goods passing through Romania's sea ports reached 46.3 million tons last year, up 4% from 2015. The main traffic partners are the Russian Federation, Turkey and Egypt, according to a report from the National Statistics Institute (INS).


Trade deficit to stay below 3% this year 

The budget deficit will stay below 3% this year and EUR 5.2 billion worth of EU funds would be attracted before the end of the year, according to statements made on Saturday in Timisoara by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu.


Productiveness is falling 

Romania ranked second in the European Union based on the growth of real productiveness per employee, up 4.7% from the previous year. The index leader was Ireland with a 5% growth rate, while the third place went to the Czech Republic and Malta, which scored 3.1% each.


Rising consumption led to record food imports 

The strong growth in imports has led to a sixfold increase of the food trade, despite the fact that wheat exports doubled last year. Romania posted a EUR 557.4 million food trade deficit for 2016, according to information published by the Ministry of Agriculture.


Financial News (2)

Credit Europe Bank ends 2016 with EUR 8 million in earnigns 

Credit Europe Bank, a bank controlled by Turkish financial group FIBA, logged EUR 8 million in gross earnings for 2016, down a third on an annual basis. At the end of 2015, Credit Europe Bank had a 1.2% market share and ranked 16th among Romania's banks, according to BNR.


BNR chides banks 

Approximately 70% of the corporate loans granted by the local banks go to a critical mass of around 72,000 companies out of a total of approximately 650,000 active companies, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). BNR representatives say that the quality of banking employees may also be lacking and that this situation may hurt the corporate lending business.


Investment News (1)

Romanians doubled investments in five years 

Capital market investors doubled their investments (calculated in euros) in the past five years and the gross yield was 97%. Romania had the second best yield out of 14 markets, according to Lucian Anghel, president of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).


Legislative News (2)

Liviu Dragnea announced simplified procurement procedures 

The Cabinet is working on a strategic procurement law that would help speed up tenders in energy, infrastructure and defense, according to Liviu Dragnea, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).


Private bankruptcy law may not be implemented 

The private bankruptcy law, which was supposed to come into force in January, 2016, is in danger of still being inapplicable on August 1, 2017. The MPs tried to approve its enforcement in November, but president Iohannis rejected the proposal on grounds that the structures required by the law have yet to be created.


Politics (1)

Raluca Turcan wants Ciolos to join PNL 

Raluca Turcan, the interim leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), said in Constanta that she would like Dacian Ciolos to join PNL. However, she noted that, while Ciolos is not an enemy of PNL, the final choice is still his.