Daily Newsletter - 24 July 2017


Macroeconomic News (4)

Green car sales tripled in Romania 

Green car sales tripled in Romania in the first six months of this year, surging from 311 units to 982, according to data released by the Automotive Producers and Importers Association (APIA). The most popular 100% electric brand was Mercedes (32 units), followed by BMW (29), Renault (12), Audi (8), Volkswagen and Volvo (5 each), Mitsubishi and Porsche (4 each). The most popular hybrid brands were Toyota (791), Lexus (72), Kia (8) and Mercedes-Benz (2).


Budget deficit threshold won't be exceeded 

The Eurostat's report showing a Q1 budget deficit of 3.2% of the GDP for Romania is based on the ESA value, adjusted for the season, and reflects the previous quarters' trend, according to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry added that the 3% budget deficit threshold would not be exceeded this year.


EU fund absorption situation is disastrous 

Romania managed to absorb EUR 1 million worth of structural funds in the first five months of this year. This represents an absorption rate of 0.004%. Since the main management authorities that handle the reimbursement operations aren't even authorized, there's no way for Romania to tap these funds.


Transport companies do well despite poor infrastructure 

The aggregated turnover of the 31,363 goods trucking companies was RON 34.28 billion in 2015, up 13% on the year despite the fact that the national infrastructure had not improved between 2013 and 2015. Highways account for less than 1% of Romania's roads.


Financial News (1)

OTP close to buying BR 

Hungarian bank OTP and the National Bank of Greece group reached an agreement regarding the acquisition of Banca Romaneasca by the former, according to sources close to the talks. The purchase would push OTP's market share up from 2.09% to 3.71%, thus making OTP one of the top 10 banks in the country.


Investment News (1)

CNAIR: Sibiu-Pitesti Highway to cost EUR 3.3 billion 

The National Road Infrastructure Management Company (CNAIR) announced on Friday that the Sibiu-Pitesti Highway would cost EUR 3.3 billion and that the EUR 1.67 billion figure included in the Transport Master Plan was only the base investment. The official announcement came in the wake of a media uproar regarding the massive increase in cost.


Legislative News (2)

President Iohannis seeks review 

President Klaus Iohannis has called for a review of the bill granting the People's Attorney a pension equal to that of Constitutional Court judges. However, the pension in question can rise along with the judges' salaries, but cannot be lowered. The President said the bill would set up an "unjustified privilege".


President signs conflict of interests bill 

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Friday the bill eliminating the notion of conflict of interests for public employees. The notion is replaced with the phrase "using one's position to favor certain individuals". The Constitutional Court ruled that the bill was constitutional.


Politics (2)

Ponta talks about new party 

Victor Ponta stated on Sunday that he would make a decision about his political future in September, adding that he wants to set up a new "startup" party. Ponta will try to secure the allegiance of people who had voted for the Social Democratic Party (PSD) or ALDE.


PNL deep in debt 

The National Liberal Party (PNL) is around EUR 4.5 million in debt, mainly as a result of the 2009 and 2012 campaigns. The party leadership secured a debt rescheduling last year and the Executive Bureau is now trying to come up with a dues system that would allow the party to pay off its debts before 2020.