Daily Newsletter - 23 May 2018


FIC (1)

Darius Valcov invited FIC and AmCham

Darius Valcov, the PM Dancila's adviser, invited representatives of the Foreign Investors Council and AmCham to a meeting at noon on Wednesday. The meeting will focus on the mandatory private pension system, according to private sector sources. The invitation came last week, after the two organizations took public positions, but the meeting was later postponed because all CDR members joined FIC and AmCham and had to be included in the conversation. Extract from the FIC press release: "The Foreign Investors Council (FIC), which brings together companies hiring approximately 200.000 people, is worried by possible policy measures affecting the three-pillar pension savings system and the lack of transparency in which these are analyzed and promoted. The three-pillar system is fundamental taking into consideration the projections for Romania’s demographic evolution in the following decades. In this context FIC believes mandatory private pensions are essential if current employees are to maintain a reasonable living standard at the end of their active lives."


Macroeconomic News (4)

Consumer goods market up 13% in Q1

The national market for consumer goods grew 13% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017, according to a study released by market research firm GfK on Tuesday. "Unlike the previous quarters, shopping is growing again (+7.4%). Families went shopping more often and spent more on average. The 3.8% inflation rate has contributed to this trend," noted a press release.


Natural gas imports up 14.2% in Q1

Romania imported 614,400 tons of oil equivalent of usable natural gas in the first quarter of this year, up 14.2% year-on-year, according to data centralized by the National Statistics Institute (INS). Domestic production exceeded 2.13 million toe, up 2.5% year-on-year.


Industrial and logistic space market to keep growing

The national market industrial and logistic space will continue to grow this year, as 500,000 sqm of new space is under construction, both in Bucharest and in other cities. The vacancy rate is below 5%, according to Dunwell, a broker that specializes in industrial space.


Financing program for subprime debtor

The issue of financing the budget deficit has become more stringent, following the worsening of economic imbalances, the rapid growth of inflation and the rising cost of borrowing. This has led to fresh talk about the TEZAUR Program, which was supposed to be launched in the first quarter of this year. The revised version features state bond issues worth RON 12-14 billion.


Financial News (2)

Florin Danescu, ARB: "The banking system has clear GDPR principles and rules"

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a component of the banking system's progress toward the digital and the system has clear principles and rules on this topic, according to statements made at a conference by Florin Danescu, Executive President of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB). "From the personal data point of view, we were one of the industries that secured the public trust," said Danescu.


Some banks report NPL rates below 7%

The biggest banks operating in Romania continued to unload NPLs in the first quarter of this year. The overall NPL rate dropped to 6.24% from last year's 6.4%, according to the information released by the banks.


Investment News (2)

Sometra Copsa Mica to invest USD 40 million in green plant

Sometra Copsa Mica, a producer of zinc and lead controlled by Greek group Mytilineos Holdings, will invest USD 40 million in a new plant with a zero carbon footprint. The plant will be built at the site of the current non-ferrous metal plant located in Copsa Mica.


Ford to invest EUR 200 million in Craiova

Ford will begin assembling a second car at the Craiova plant, an operation that requires EUR 200 million in additional investment. This will push the company's total financial effort to EUR 1.5 billion, according to a press release. The new model will create 1,500 jobs at the plant, whose overall workforce is expected to reach 5,900.


Legislative News (2)

Cabinet to amend tax evasion rules

The Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, announced on Tuesday that the Cabinet could adopt at the very next session a memorandum regarding the modification of tax evasion regulations. The modifications will be released to the public in June or July. "The Cabinet had its first reading of the memorandum last week and I hope that the document will be adopted [on Wednesday]," said Teodorovici.


New terms for farmland purchases

The Senate passed an amendment to the farmland acquisition regulations, setting a new first choice order and new terms for purchases. These changes apply to all buyers. The new rules, which are expected to come into force this year, prevent new owners from reselling farmland quickly.


Politics (2)

Dragnea to bring 1 million people out

The leaders of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) are convinced that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila needs a public show of support. A rally of 1 million people is the magic number floated by the party leaders. The date of the rally has yet to be determined, according to Liviu Dragnea. For now, the 1 million people are supposed to wait.


Olguta Vasilescu attacks Tariceanu's critics

The Minister of Labor, Olguta Vasilescu, commented a court's decision to acquit Calin Popescu Tariceanu of perjury charges. "Who will pay for the time he was demonized, stripped of credibility and dragged to court? So far, nobody!", wrote Vasilescu on her Facebook page.


Social (1)

13,000 minors live without parents

Approximately 13,000 children are registered with the Muntenia South region's authorities as having their parents working abroad, according to the Save the Children Organization. The data collected by social assistants indicate that most of the children left alone because of economic migration are located in Prahova county (4,897), followed by Dambovita (2,727), Arges (2,594) and Teleorman (1,120).