Daily Newsletter - 24 March 2020


FIC (1)

FIC encourages authorities to begin talks with IMF, WB and EC to help national economy

"In these days of global disruption, the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) believes more than ever that our interdepency is crucial to our wellbeing. FIC brings together over 120 multinational companies and its mission is becoming more important during times of uncertainty, as we believe that the dialogue between policy makers and the business community lies at the heart of mitigating the risks that COVID-19 poses to the Romanian economy. Protecting our 185.000 Romanian employees was our first action. We rely on them and together we have a turnover of approximately 23% of Romania’s GDP. The first set of economic measures taken by the Romanian Government was a step towards giving companies in distress a lifeline, but there are more steps to be made and we want to share the same road for a better future for all. FIC encourages the authorities to open discussions with all international stakeholders like the Commission, the IMF or the World Bank and to tap into all the available resources in order to ease the strain on the national budget. If needed, FIC members are here to support this dialogue with their expertise and good knowledge of what is happening in the economy. “

FIC: The first set of economic measures taken by the Romanian Government was a step toward offering continuity to distressed companies, but there's still much to be done

Foreign investors encourages authorities to begin talks with IMF, WB and EC

Foreign investors: We're encouraging the authorities to begin talks with IMF, WB and EC

Foreign investors' message to government

FIC: The first set of economic measures taken by the Romanian Government was a step toward offering continuity to distressed companies

Foreign investors: First measures are step toward continuity

Foreign investors' message to government

FIC praises first economic measures

FIC hails government measures

The most powerful companies in Romania, whose turnovers account for 23% of GDP, are urging the Cabinet to seek the help of the EC, the IMF and the World Bank to attract all available resources to survive this crisis

FIC: "Panic is spreading faster than Covid-19"


    Macroeconomic News (3)

    How prepared is Romania for remote working?

    Against the background of the pandemic that has changed the way of working for many people around the world, working from home has now become the new reality, including in Romania. One in two companies in Romania has provided its employees with mobile phones or tablets that allow internet connection through mobile networks. The number of companies whose employees use desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones is growing, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS).


    Unemployment expected to boom

    Working from home, in an attempt to stay away from any danger, was the right decision to make by governments. Because, otherwise, the cost would be terrible in terms of lost revenue and pressure on smaller companies to stay afloat and keep their staff employed. In the coming weeks and months we will see a dramatic increase in unemployment, thus indicating a temporary end to the good times that many have experienced in the last decade, according to Ole Hansen, director of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank.


    Food trade deficit at EUR 1.22 billion

    Romania reported a food trade deficit of EUR 1.225 billion for 2019, an increase of over 8% compared to 2018, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR). Last year, the value of exports increased by almost 11%, totaling EUR 7.19 billion, while imports increased in value by 10.3%, to EUR 8.42 billion.


    Financial News (3)

    OTP Bank clients can postpone installments until May 29

    Clients who have taken out loans from OTP Bank, whether consumer loans or mortgages, including "Prima Casa", are offered the possibility of paying their installments any time until May 29, without any late charges of fees. The measure is designed to help clients who lack the funds to make payments, while also promoting social distancing and the avoidance of unnecessary trips.


    Raiffeisen Bank helps SME clients

    Raiffeisen Bank wants corporate clients to choose between postponing their capital rates by three months or extending the credit lines due soon by 3 to 12 months. The bank simplified its internal flows, as well as the required paperwork in order to be able to implement these changes with a minimum of effort on the clients' part.


    ROBOR rates plunge

    The three-month ROBOR rate plunged from 3.24% to 2.61%, the lowest figure since May 7, 2018. The six-month rate followed suit in the wake of the measures taken last week by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).


    Legislative News (1)

    Economic measures decree leaves out categories of companies

    The decree on economic measures designed to support the business community does not apply to large categories of companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The PSD will submit amendments going as far as having the state pay 75% of gross salaries to all employees and self-employed individuals who have stopped working due to the pandemic, while also eliminating the requirement of obtaining the emergency status certificate.


    Politics (2)

    President Iohannis: "The next weeks will be critical"

    President Klaus Iohannis issued on Monday a new message to citizens, urging responsibility and solidarity in the coming months. The president said the next weeks will be critical and a harsh test of the state's capacity to cope.


    PSD blasts government over early election

    The Social Democratic Party (PSD) criticized the government for putting the early election above public health. "Postponing the local election is an option, unless the pandemic decreases in intensity in the coming weeks," reads the PSD press release.


    Social (2)

    CNE rejects academic year freeze

    The National Student Council (CNE) rejected on Monday the idea of freezing the academic year and postponing all national examinations. CNE also provided a series of proposals for dealing with the crisis.


    Testing extended to all symptoms similar to Covid-19

    The National Health Institute (INS) announced the modification of rules defining suspicious cases. As a result, all individuals diagnosed with symptoms resembling the new coronavirus will be tested, instead of just individuals who had passed through an outbreak region or had come into contact with a confirmed case.