Daily Newsletter - 20 May 2022


Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Interest burden is increasing for the state as public debt has also grown considerably
The interest burden is increasing for the state as public debt has also grown considerably in recent years and has exceeded 50% of GDP earlier this year. State debt remained above 50% of GDP in March, for the third consecutive month above this threshold. The government, which has just reported the highest quarterly economic growth in the EU, with the economy having unexpectedly grown by 5.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2022 and by 6.5% year-on-year, is trying to minimize this interest rate problem so that it can continue to borrow as much as possible without any hindrances, but the situation is far from good for Romania. At 50%, Romania’s debt, although it has increased in recent years, is below the European average.
Total volume of construction works grew by 6.5%, as a gross series, in Q1/2022
Total volume of construction works grew by 6.5%, as a gross series, in the first three months of 2022. By structural elements, increases were recorded by current maintenance and repair works (+15%), capital repair works (+5.1%) and new construction works (+4.1%). By purpose of construction, advances have been reported on non-residential buildings (+18.3%) and residential buildings (+18%). Engineering constructions decreased by 7%, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. Moreover, the volume of construction works was up 4.1% in Q1/2022 as a working-day and seasonally adjusted series, with increases in current maintenance and repair works (+9.4%), capital repair works (+2.8%) and new construction works (+2.2%). By purpose of construction, advances were recorded in residential buildings (+21.2%) and non-residential buildings (+16.2%).
Raiffeisen Bank has increased interest rates on household RON-denominated deposits
Raiffeisen Bank has increased interest rates on RON-denominated deposits for individuals by 0.50%-2% per year amid the rising inflation. The biggest increase, of 2% above the initial interest rate, has been applied to 12-month deposits. As a result, the bank now offers a 4% annual interest on this maturity. The highest interest rate in RON paid by Raiffeisen Bank is of 4.25% per year, for household deposits with two-year maturity. Moreover, the interest rate on the six-month Flexi deposit has grown to 3.5%. The Super Access Plus savings account in RON comes with 1% annual interest and zero opening, management or closing fees.
SanoPass offers health benefits and instant cashback for Visa cardholders
Consumers who hold a Visa card issued in Romania and enroll it into the SanoPass app will instantly receive 10% cashback, via the Visa Direct service, for all transactions made through the platform until 30 April 2023. Moreover, Visa cardholders will also benefit from free fitness services in the SanoPass network of partner gyms, as well as from free examinations and investigations via telemedicine, for one month after adding their card into the app.
ING Bank Romania has granted an over EUR 20 million loan to Tuborg Romania group
ING Bank Romania has granted an over EUR 20 million loan to United Romanian Breweries Bereprod (URBB) group, also known as Tuborg Romania, to refinance existing loans and finance new sustainable investment projects, according to a press release. The investments are directed towards Tuborg’s plant in Pantelimon and are aimed at increasing the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant, as well as at new technologies to streamline the production process, with direct benefits on product quality and the brewery’s activity. The long-term loan is bilateral, with ING being the sole lending bank.
Bacolux Hotels Romania has invested EUR 7 million in the new hotel in Eforie Nord
Bacolux Hotels Romania Group is to open the newest hotel in its portfolio - Bacolux Koralio Eforie Nord at the beginning of June, following an over EUR 7 million investment. The four-star hotel Bacolux Koralio will have 212 rooms and suites, a restaurant (lounge and outdoor terrace with a capacity of 400 seats), a lobby bar, as well as three fully equipped conference rooms. The hotel will also include three heated outdoor swimming pools - one for adults, which will have a bar and terrace, and two children’s pools with three water slides.
Popeyes Romania has announced the opening of two new restaurants this summer
Popeyes Romania has announced the opening of two new restaurants in Bucharest this summer and has started recruiting future team members. Following the success of the first restaurant opened in the country, in Băneasa Shopping City, at the beginning of April 2022, Popeyes Romania continues its strategy of expanding its network with two new restaurants in ParkLake Shopping Center and AFI Cotroceni, which will be inaugurated this summer. Popeyes offers over 100 new jobs and some of the most attractive entry-level salaries on the Romanian QSR market.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest USD 16.54 billion in South Korea by 2030
Hyundai Motor Group announced on Wednesday that it planned to invest a total of 21,000 billion won (USD 16.54 billion) by 2030 for the expansion of its electric vehicle (EV) business in South Korea. The South Korean automotive group, which includes Hyundai Motor and Kia brands, plans to annually build 1.44 million units of electric vehicles in South Korea by 2030. Last year, Hyundai Motor Group said it intended to invest USD 7.4 billion in the United States by 2025 to produce electric vehicles, upgrade production facilities and further its investment in smart mobility solutions - technology to improve different modes of transportation in cities.
CCR declares parts of OUG unjustifiably extending interceptions in Romania unconstitutional
The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has unanimously approved the challenges filed by Save Romania Union (USR), by the Ombudsman and by 41 deputies from the Alliance for Romanians’ Unity (AUR) against the so-called "Electronic Communications Law". As a result, parts of the law almost unanimously voted by Parliament have been declared unconstitutional. The rapporteur-judge for the ruling was magistrate Daniel Morar, the former chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA).
Draft law clarifying the tax regime of digital nomads has been submitted in Parliament
Law 22/2022, a project initiated by Save Romania Union (USR) MP Diana Buzoianu, introducing a visa for digital nomads, was promulgated in January 2022. With the adoption of this law, Romania joined the states that can attract digital nomads and their resources into the country, offering long-stay visas to these foreigners, according to a press release issued by USR. The introduction of a new concept in Romania’s legislation, such as the "digital nomad", also means adapting other areas to the new reality in order for Romania to be competitive. Digital nomads are foreigners from third countries who come to travel to Romania for a longer period of time and work remotely for a company outside the EU.
European News 
Romanian parliament adopts new offshore law
The Romanian parliament approved a new law on deep oil and gas operations, which is expected to unblock gas projects in the Black Sea, with 249 MPs in favor and 34 against. Last week, the bill was approved by the Senate, parliament’s upper chamber, meaning it will now be handed over to President Klaus Iohannis to sign into law. According to the new legislation, the Romanian state will have preemption rights on gas sales and will receive around 60% of the income generated by exploration projects. But the law also promises to keep the tax regime unchanged during the construction of these offshore gas projects. Compared to the previous legislation, the tax on gas sales is reduced and restrictions on gas exports removed, except for emergencies.
Seven out of ten employees put professional fulfilment first
70% of participants in a survey conducted by BestJobs recruitment platform said they felt they lived life more intensely when they were fulfilled at work and in their job, even more than when spending time with loved ones (48%). In this context, BestJobs has launched a manifesto calling on people to never stop looking for the job that brings them satisfaction and that they are passionate about. According to the BestJobs survey, in addition to financial fulfilment, employees’ level of job satisfaction is influenced to a significant extent by the feeling that their work matters (41%), as well as by professional development opportunities (18%).
9 out of 10 parents in rural areas say their children’s eyesight was affected during pandemic
More than 90% of parents in rural areas say their children’s eyesight has been affected by the pandemic in the past two years, 42% of them being concerned that vision problems have become worse or very serious, according to a survey conducted by World Vision Romania. The foundation will organize information and visual acuity testing sessions for 6,000 children and adults in rural communities.