Daily Newsletter - 21 January 2019


Macroeconomic News (2)

Minister calls for patience

Environment Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu said a budget project was late, but the blame was not the Government's. Without explaining or being asked about this issue, Gratiela Gavrilescu assured on Saturday that "the state budget in 2019 will be approved by the Parliament immediately, in the shortest time in the first weeks of February".


Price of electricity to remain unchanged

The low-cost electricity producers (Hidroelectrica, Nuclearelectrica and cogeneration plants benefiting from the bonus support scheme) will be required to provide the Electricity Suppliers (FUIs) with the electricity needed to supply all household customers at a price consisting of the production cost plus a regulated profit of 5%, specifies a draft order of the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE).


Financial News (4)

Banks start slashing costs

The bankers are preparing spending cuts after the arrival of the new asset tax. Omer Tetik, CEO of Transilvania Bank, said he has already stopped the renovation of more than 200 branch offices, postponed the second phase of the digitization program, and slashed the training programs for employees as well as other partnerships. Sergiu Manea, President of BCR, is considering the suspending of investment projects and started analyzing which expenses can be slashed.


BNR: Number of CHF debtors falls

The number of debtors whose loans are denominated in Swiss francs decreased from 75,412 in November, 2014, to 38,519 in December, 2016, and finally to 20,651 in November, 2018, a 46% drop according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR). BNR data show that the balance of these loans, both consumer and real estate, decreased by RON 1.8 billion, from RON 5.2 billion in December, 2016, to RON 3.4 billion in November, 2018.


"The banks' profits are not and cannot be tied to the ROBOR level"

The year 2019 started on a rocky note for relationship between the state and the banking system. "The profitability of the banks is not and cannot be tied to the ROBOR level," said the President of the Association of Financial Analysts in Romania (AAFBR), Iancu Guda.


Senator Zamfir to summon Governor Isarescu for explanations

Senator Daniel Zamfir (ALDE) asked the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to stop the "artificial mechanism" of calculating ROBOR, beginning with Monday. Daniel Zamfir also announced that BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu would be summoned to a hearing at the Senate's Economic Commission.


Investment News (2)

Investor wants to build farmers' market in Militari

Bucur SA, a company owned by several Romanian shareholders, is considering building a farmers' market in the western area of Bucharest, on Timisoara Boulevard. This would help balance the city from the point of view of fresh food supply, given that there is only one comparable market in the city, in the Obor area.


MDRAP wants to buy 17 trams

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) launched a tender for the purchase of 17 trams with a length of 25 meters, to be paid with EU funds. The trams will be used in the city of Craiova and the estimated value of the contract is RON 170 million (EUR 36.2 million), according to the announcement published on the SICAP procurement platform.


Politics (1)

Sir Alan Duncan said Romanians' rights to be observed

Sir Alan Duncan, the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, told Romania's Deputy Minister for European Affairs George Ciamba that, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process, the rights of Romanian citizens in the UK would be observed, according to an MAE statement.


Social (1)

Home appliances program could be extended to TV sets

Environment Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu told "Antena 3" that in 2019 the "cash for old household appliances" program will receive a significant allocation of funds, stressing the possibility of modifying the financing guide in order to extend the program to TV sets.