Romanian economy may record quasi-stagnation in Q2/2022, after the
reacceleration of economic growth in Q1/2022, under the impact of the
war in Ukraine and associated sanctions, according to the minutes of
the monetary policy meeting of NBR’s Board of Directors on 10 May 2022,
published on Friday. According to the latest indicators, the probable
slowdown in annual economic growth in Q1 is mainly driven by private
consumption, while the opposite influences are likely to come from
gross fixed capital formation and net exports, as the somewhat stronger
increase in the annual variation of goods and services imports in the
first two months, compared to exports, mainly reflects the unfavorable
evolution of external prices.
The members of the National Bank of Romania (NBR)’s Board of Directors
are not too optimistic about inflation, which will remain extremely
high until June 2023. The latest data show that inflation will be 12.5%
in December and 12.4% in June 2023, much above the previously forecast
9.6% and 5% levels. The central bank has indicated that a stronger
intervention onto the market by further increasing interest rates and
tightening the money supply would have a devastating effect on economy.
A war so close to Romania has a negative impact on general sentiment
and confidence, which is never constructive for economy, according to
Henk Paardekooper, executive president/CEO of First Bank, who has about
three decades of experience in banking. He anticipates that Romania’s
economy will feel the wider impact of the war on the border between
Russia and Ukraine due to the general shock effects and one can already
see higher energy and natural resource prices, with an impact on the
food and commodities supply chain.
The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu has
stated that Romania has the highest economic growth in Europe and that
"the Government will definitely have to come up with a third social
package, based on which economic growth will be reflected in the living
standards of the population". He has also indicated that incomes of
"low and middle income earners" must be increased.
The members of the National Bank of Romania’s Board of Directors
unanimously agreed that the overall economic context called for a 0.75%
increase in the monetary policy interest rate in order to anchor
medium-term inflation expectations and boost saving, so as to ensure a
sustainable return of the annual inflation rate in line with the 2.5%
+/- 1% target, in a manner conducive to sustainable economic growth,
according to the minutes of NBR’s latest monetary policy meeting.
Societe Generale’s CEO, whose term will end in 2023, is in favor of
selecting an internal candidate to lead the French banking group for
the next 10-15 years after his departure, trade union representatives
stated after the meeting with Frederic Oudea. SocGen has announced that
Mr. Oudea will not seek to renew his mandate during the next
shareholders’ meeting on 23 May 2023.
CEC Bank has reported a RON 54.2 million net profit and RON 50.4
billion assets for Q1/2022, up by 19% year-on-year, above the average
asset growth in the banking system (11.9%). The bank’s financial
performance in the first quarter was supported by a 15% increase in net
interest income compared to the similar period of 2021, to RON 319.1
million, while net fee income grew by 11%, to RON 77.8 million.
Banca Transilvania has launched the option of applying online for APIA
loans granted to the bank’s clients who benefit from subsidies, on BT’s
website directly. It completes the bank’s offer of loans granted based
on subsidies, alongside with other loans dedicated to farmers. Thus,
depending on each client’s option, the entire lending process,
including the receipt of APIA certificates and the signing of the loan
contract, can take place online, without having to go to the bank. The
APIA loan is an advance loan, which ensures the money needed for
current farm payments until the APIA subsidy is received and is granted
for up to 90% of the amount a BT client is to receive.
Environment Minister Tanczos Barna put two guidelines for investments
in water management through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan
(PNRR) up for public consultation on Friday, 20 May. According to the
Environment Minister, the first funding guide is aimed at extending
water and sewerage systems in localities with more than 2,000
inhabitants and the second guide targets investments in wastewater
collection in localities with less than 2,000 inhabitants in protected
Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu has announced that major investments
will be made in Galaţi - Brăila area in all modes of transport, whether
in the port, road or airport sectors, in the following years. The
Minister has indicated that these projects must be demarcated to help
the business environment and that he also wants to contribute to
changing the economic and social map of the entire region.
The biggest telecommunications operator in the United Arab Emirates,
e& has announced that it is considering joint investments with
Vodafone, after having bought a 9.8% stake in the British group, for
USD 4.4 billion, last week, in an attempt to diversify its operations
at global level. e& wants to collaborate with Vodafone in the
acquisitions sector and on the research and development (R&D)
segment. In February this year, the former Etisalat changed its name to
e& aiming to turn into a global technology investment conglomerate.
Hatem Dowidar, the CEO of the company from the United Arab Emirates,
has stated that he is confident in Vodafone’s strategy, including
streamlining the business and consolidation in Europe.
On Friday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law that sets the
amount of RON 22 as food allowance for children in public daycare
services, for children and young people whom special protection measure
have been established for in a public residential service and for
children in family-type homes. The normative act amends the Law on the
Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights and on Social Assistance
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has announced that the Government
will adopt an emergency ordinance on Wednesday, 25 May that will create
the legal framework for a certain percentage of full-time university
education to be carried out online. Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has also
indicated that compliance with standards will be verified in maximum
five years’ time, upon the institutional evaluation.
Secondary school grade point averages may no longer be taken into
account for high school admissions after the National Education Law is
amended. It is a scenario supported by Education Minister Sorin
Cîmpeanu himself, who has stated that grades have lost much of their
relevance. As for the subjects for the national assessment, the
Education Minister recently said that those, along with the
baccalaureate subjects, would be "perfectly adapted" to the two-year
period during which students had studied under health crisis
On Friday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the draft law submitted
by Save Romania Union (USR) that will give Romanian employees and
former employees online and unrestricted access to their data in the
Employees Register (REVISAL). Under the law, employees will be able to
view, at any time, information on their employment contracts and length
of service, as well as whether their employers have paid contributions
to the state. Information on the level and specialization of education
will also be included in the Employees Register, to help the persons
who fill positions that require certain qualifications.
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa told his troops in Romania on
Thursday that their main objective would be to maintain peace in Europe
and stressed respect for international law and the defensive nature of
NATO. Costa addressed the 222 Portuguese military personnel at the
Caracal Military Base, next to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, who expressed thanks for their presence
in the country as well as Portugal’s "contribution" to the
modernization of the Romanian Armed Forces. In a speech in Portuguese
and English, Costa stressed the "defensive" nature of NATO and
highlighted the principle of the Atlantic Alliance, according to which
an attack on one member state is considered "an attack against all".
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has stated that students who have to
take national exams this year should expect the difficulty of subjects
to be adapted to the learning context. Minister Cîmpeanu described the
online learning imposed by the pandemic as "a real educational
catastrophe". During a TV program, when asked whether he believed that
the imposed online education system was a mockery for children, Mr.
Cîmpeanu explained that interest in education must be combined with
interest in health.