Daily Newsletter - 22 November 2022


Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (4)
Investment (4)
Legislative (4)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Romania, Czech Republic and Hungary face the risk of exchange-rate crises in 2023
The Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary face the risk of exchange-rate crises over the next one year as fiscal and external challenges mount, analysts from Nomura Holdings Inc. investment bank indicated in a report published on Monday, Bloomberg reports. The warning is based on an analysis of eight indicators including FX reserves import cover, real short-term interest rates, as well as fiscal and current account measures, according to Nomura’s Damocles Index which assessed 32 emerging markets’ vulnerability to a currency crisis.
The process of bringing inflation down to 2% from a high level will be quite difficult
The process of bringing inflation down to 2% from a high level will be quite difficult, if not impossible, especially given society’s preference for inflationary policies, according to Valentin Lazea, a chief economist at the National Bank of Romania (NBR). Moreover, Lucian Croitoru, an advisor to NBR Governor, has indicated that the implementation of the inflation targeting framework requires highly disciplined fiscal policy, but, from his point of view, this is rather "naive" because fiscal policy "does not have a lot of respect for this framework implementation condition and follows its own path".
Finance Ministry borrowed RON 586 million from banks on Monday, 21 November
The Ministry of Finance (MF) borrowed RON 586 million from banks on Monday, 21 November through a benchmark government bonds issue with 59-month residual maturity, at an average yield of 8.02% per year, according to data published by the National Bank of Romania (NBR). The nominal value of the issue was RON 400 million and the banks subscribed RON 701 million. An additional auction is scheduled for Tuesday, when the state aims to raise RON 60 million at the yield set for the bonds on Monday.
American and British investors have come to control over 41% of Austrian group Erste
Investors from North America, together with those from Great Britain and Ireland reached a combined stake of about 41.5% in the Austrian group Erste Bank, which controls BCR, the second biggest bank on the Romanian market, at the end of October 2022. Separately, North American investors control 25.75% of Erste, and UK and Irish investors have an over 15.7% stake. On the other hand, Austria controls 32.2% of Erste Bank Group’s shareholding structure, according to the latest statistics presented by the Austrian group to investors.
Asirom needs to reduce its share capital by more than 40%
Asirom, the fifth biggest company on the Romanian market, plans to reduce its share capital from RON 508.9 million to RON 292.5 million. The difference of RON 216.5 million will be redirected to cover part of the RON 555.4 million cumulative loss reported at the end of last year, according to the information in the notice to attend of the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (AGEA) on 21 November. Apart from covering losses by using part of the share capital, the company will also direct the surplus obtained from the revaluation of reserves, amounting to RON 65 million, and RON 273.9 million representing capital premiums.
Garanti BBVA Romania contracts EUR 40 million loan from IFC
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private investment division, has granted a EUR 40 million loan to Garanti BBVA Romania (GBRO) bank, so that the latter can finance green mortgage loans and green home renovation loans. According to estimates, more than 95% of buildings built before 2010 require renovation to improve their level of energy efficiency.
NBR launches gold coin dedicated to 300 years since the construction of Kretzulescu Church
The National Bank of Romania will put into circulation for numismatic purposes a gold coin to mark 300 years since the construction of Kretzulescu Church in Bucharest on 28 November. According to a press release issued by the central bank, the coin has a face value of RON 100, a round shape, a 21 mm diameter, it weighs 6.452 grams and has a milled edge. The obverse of the coin features an image of Kretzulescu Church in Bucharest, the year of issue "2022", the coat of arms of Romania, the face value "100 LEI" and the inscription "ROMANIA".
Verdino invests EUR 4 million in production line expansion
Verdino, a start-up co-founded by entrepreneurs Raul Ciurtin and Eberhart Răducanu less than four years ago, which makes pea protein-based foods, has announced EUR 4 million investments to expand its production line and the brands in its portfolio, with a focus on the development of a new range - breaded products and ready-to-eat snacks. In the summer of 2022, the company bought the green brands Unfished and Green Course from the canned food producer Prefera Foods from Alba County.
Paints manufacturer Köber has bought 20,000 square meter land near Deva
Lacquers and paints manufacturer Köber from Neamt County has bought a 20,000 square meter land in the industrial area of Deva city in order to develop a regional logistics hub. The land in question will be initially used for the development of the new regional logistics hub, and the fourth production center, to complete the three already existing in Neamt County, will subsequently be developed there. Köber will recruit personnel from Deva city area for the new logistics and production facility.
CERONAV starts construction works on a RON 47.1 million campus
The Romanian Center for Naval Transport Personnel’s Technical and Specialized Training (CERONAV) has announced that it has started the construction of its most important works, namely a campus with a training pool worth RON 47.1 million and a fire prevention and extinction (P.S.I.) range and Helideck simulator, worth RON 6,494,000, VAT included. The total value of the investment amounts to approximately RON 50 million. The CERONAV Training Base project was selected as one of the three flagship projects for education and training in the finals of the World Architecture Competition in Singapore.
Polish brand 4F has inaugurated its newest store in Bucharest, in Mega Mall
Polish brand 4F is rapidly expanding its chain of fixed stores. After having opened stores in the NEPI Rockcastle shopping centers in cities such as Timişoara, Constanţa, Ploiesti, Râmnicu Vâlcea and Târgu Mureş, 4F has inaugurated its newest store in Bucharest, in Mega Mall, reorganized according to an original concept. This is the 17th 4F store in Romania. The grand reopening in Mega Mall Bucharest took place on 18 November and is accompanied by promotional offers for customers.
"Croissant and Milk" program in schools becomes "Healthy Breakfast"
On Monday, the Romanian Senate adopted the conversion of the School Feeding Program from the current "Croissant, Fruit and Milk" into Healthy Breakfast, an initiative of REPER MP Cătălin Teniță, with 119 votes "in favor" out of 120. The draft law provides for an increase in the number of portions of dairy products, bakery products, fruit and vegetables that school children will receive. The draft law will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making body, for approval.
Romania is withdrawing from the International Investment Bank
On Monday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the laws denouncing the Intergovernmental Agreement on the establishment of the International Investment Bank, signed in Moscow on 10 July 1970, as well as the Convention on Multilateral Settlements in Transferable Rubles and the Organization of the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, also concluded in Moscow, on 22 October 1963. The Government will take the necessary measures for Romania’s withdrawal from the International Investment Bank and the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, and the expenses arising from the withdrawal from the banks’ shareholding and those related to technical and legal assistance will be ensured from the state budget, through the Finance Ministry’s budget.
Period during which firms are obliged to keep financial and accounting documents was reduced
Companies will have the obligation to archive and keep accounting records and documents, including daily closing tax reports, and the tax memory of electronic cash registers for 5 years, compared to ten years as the law currently stipulates, according to a draft law supported by the ruling coalition parties and adopted during the Senate’s plenary session. The initiators of the draft law point out that, in contrast to these periods in which economic operators have accumulated mountains of archive paperwork, the Tax Procedure Code stipulates that the general limitation period of the tax authority’s right to establish tax claims is five years, and tax authorities can only conduct verifications within this interval.
Tourism Ministry wants Norms on certification and use of tourist guides to be approved
On Monday, 21 November, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism organized a public debate on the draft Government Decision approving the Norms on the certification and use of tourist guides, which redefines the tourist guide, outlines the scope of activity and exercise of this profession and establishes the criteria and conditions for the issuing of the badge. The categories of tourist guides, according to the proposals made during the public meeting, could be redefined as it follows: domestic tourist guide (qualification), international tourist guide (further training) and specialized tourist guide.
European News 
Digital product passports become the norm in EU’s green economy plan
Digital product passports are becoming a central instrument to track the components and origin of raw materials used in all kinds of consumer goods. The EU is currently reviewing its circular economy rules, with the intention of making green products the norm in the bloc’s single market. A central part of this agenda rests on the introduction of so-called "digital product passports" that will track the origin of all materials and components used in the manufacturing process of everyday consumer goods. The adoption of digital product passports was outlined in the EU’s Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), a set of rules adopted on 30 March that aims to make durable and repairable products "the norm" in the EU’s single market.
Only 28% of Romanians have benefited from salary increases in 2022
Only 28% of Romanians have benefited from salary increases in 2022, and almost half of them (47%) have received up to 5% pay rises, according to a survey conducted by CEC Bank in partnership with banking comparator Only 36.8% of Romanians who benefitted from salary increases this year received 5-10% increases, while the wages of 5% of them have been raised by more than 20%. Moreover, 11% said their salary had grown by 10-20%.
Gabriela Firea announces 16-day domestic violence awareness campaign
On Monday, 21 November, Family Minister Gabriela Firea announced the start of an awareness campaign to draw public attention to a worrying phenomenon - domestic violence, especially against women. The Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, through the National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men, are to organize events during 16 days of activism, until 10 December - International Human Rights Day.