News

Daily Newsletter - 24 November 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (4)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
COVID-19 cases pushed confidence among euro area businesses to its lowest level since January
The recent increases in the number of COVID-19 cases have pushed confidence among European businesses down to its lowest level since January. The latest survey regarding the purchasing power of managers from across the euro area shows that expectations have fallen in November, to a ten-month low. Ongoing concerns over supply chain issues were exacerbated by growing worries about the impact of further COVID-19 waves, which darkened the outlook for services in particular. More encouragingly, business activity growth accelerated in November having slipped to a six-month low in October, which took the euro area flash PMI index to 55.8, up from 54.2, showing faster growth.
PSD-PNL-UDMR’s governing program proposes, among other things, a change of economic paradigm
PSD-PNL-UDMR executive’s governing program proposes, among other things, a change of economic paradigm, the transition to production economy and support for Romanian capital. The list of priorities also includes the development of industrial hubs, enhancing the efficiency of state expenditures, promoting digital technology, increasing investments and infrastructure development. In the fiscal sector, the new coalition is also considering amending the Fiscal Code by eliminating the exemption from the payment of health insurance contributions for pensioners whose revenues from pensions exceed RON 4,000.
Economic activity is decelerating
Economic activity is decelerating in the first half of Q4 of 2021, compared to the third quarter, BCR analysts indicate in a research note. They point out that the third quarter was also weaker than the previous one. Romanian economy (GDP) slowed considerably in the third quarter of this year and only grew by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, according to signal data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) last week. Moreover, analysts point out that, excluding agriculture, economy may have marginally contracted in Q3/2021.
Financial 
Some banks expect tightened corporate lending conditions in Q2/2021
Banks expect lending standards in the case of retail loans to be maintained in the last quarter (Q4) of 2021, while in the case of corporate loans, a small share of banks show a prudent attitude, estimating the tightening of lending conditions to a certain extent, according to the survey on lending to non-financial companies and the population conducted by NBR in November 2021. Thus, 89% of the responding banks indicated that lending standards would be maintained for the next quarter, while the remaining 11% expect standards, both at aggregate level and for long-term loans to corporations, to be tightened to a certain extent.
A package of 0.5% of BT changed shareholders in two special transactions worth RON 81 million
A package of 0.5% of Banca Transilvania, meaning about 33 million shares, changed shareholders during the trading session on Tuesday, following two special transactions (DEALS) worth about RON 81 million, according to data published on bvb.ro platform. The first transaction, with 24.4 million shares, the equivalent of RON 61 million, was registered in the local stock exchange system at 16:06, and the second one, with 8.1 million shares, worth RON 20.3 million, was registered a few seconds later.
Uniqa Asigurări and Uniqa Asigurări de Viaţă have reported EUR 78 million cumulated underwritten premiums
Austrian group Uniqa, which owns a general insurance division (Uniqa Asigurări) and a life insurance division (Uniqa Asigurări de Viaţă) on the local market, ended the first nine months of 2021 with EUR 78.2 million gross underwritten premiums, up by 11.3% year-on-year, while its total net profit stood at EUR 3.8 million, up 18.7%. On business segments, Uniqa Asigurări reported a 9% advance on the non-automotive insurance segment at the end of the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period of the previous year, having recorded EUR 28.4 million gross underwritten premiums on this segment, according to IFRS.
Investment 
Maschio Gaspardo increased production capacity of agricultural machinery plant in Arad by 20%
Maschio Gaspardo Romania, a business owned by Maschio Gaspardo SpA (75%) and Finest SpA (25%), both companies from Italy, has increased the production capacity of its agricultural machinery plant in Chisinau Cris, Arad County, by 20%, according to a press release sent by the company’s representatives. They did not provide any numbers regarding the value of the investment. The plant currently has an area of about 26,000 square meters, and the personnel will exceed 400 people, which means that more than 50 people will be recruited, and production will amount to 5,000 pieces of equipment per year, mainly machines for minimum soil processing, plows and round balers, Maschio Gaspardo Romania officials have explained.
A new real estate project will be built in the north of Bucharest
Art City is a premium residential project developed by Art Property Development, a company taking over some of Bog’Art’s DNA and expertise, from the first line of architectural concept to the last execution detail. Art City will be finalized in September 2022 following an investment estimated at EUR 20 million. Art City will consist of 141 apartments, 500 square meters of commercial and office spaces, and 180 parking spaces. It is the first of several urban regeneration phases included in the approximately seven hectare master plan that will redefine a new area, in full expansion, located close to all the points of interest in the North of Bucharest.
Samsung to invest USD 17 billion for the construction of a processors plant in Texas
Samsung announced on Tuesday that it had chosen the state of Texas as the location for the processors plant the company will invest USD 17 billion in. The semiconductor crisis has increased the need for new production facilities, and US authorities are offering companies various advantages to persuade them to open plants. In 1990, the USA had 37% of the world’s processing and production capacity, but now it has 12%, the leaders being Taiwan, China and South Korea.
Galileo Olimp Resort & Residence real estate project has received a building permit
The second project for the regeneration of the southern part of the Romanian seaside, Galileo Olimp Resort & Residence, has received a building permit. Galileo Olimp Resort & Residences will have a five-storey building with 173 apartments and will be finalized in May 2023. Certion Property Developers, the company in charge of this real estate complex, plans to develop premium residential projects in Neptune-Olimp area, with total investments exceeding EUR 45 million over a four-year period.
Legislative 
USR urges the new ruling coalition and the future PM to issue an OUG to abrogate special pensions
Save Romania Union (USR) has urged PSD, PNL, UDMR and the future Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă to issue an emergency ordinance to abrogate the special pensions of locally elected officials, after the new Government’s installation; otherwise, their payment will start on 1 January, USR’s spokesman Ionuţ Moşteanu stated on Tuesday. He pointed out that USR’s project aimed at eliminating those pensions, which was going to be tacitly adopted in the Chamber of Deputies, was blocked, and was no longer read during the plenary session, so that it could reach the Senate, the decision-making body.
European News 
A European Commission draft proposes an overhaul of the EU gas market
A draft European Commission proposal to overhaul the EU gas market introduces new rights for consumers to choose their supplier but stops short of setting the targets demanded by industry to ramp up the consumption of renewable and low-carbon gases. The proposal, which is still subject to change before its presentation on 14 December, aims to steer the market towards low-carbon and renewable alternatives to fossil gas which needs to be phased out by 2050 to reach the EU’s climate neutrality goal.
Social 
CNCAV has requested the Ministry of Health to give up vaccination with AstraZeneca serum
The head of the National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Activities (CNCAV) Valeriu Gheorghiță announced on Tuesday, 23 November, that he had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health to give up vaccination with the serum produced by AstraZeneca. The decision was unanimously made during CNCAV’s meeting, and the main reason is the population’s lack of interest in this vaccine.
About 47,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine have arrived in Romania
The representatives of the National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Activities (CNCAV) have announced that 46,800 doses of vaccine produced by Pfizer BioNTech arrived in Romania on Tuesday, 23 November. The vaccines were delivered by air and arrived at Timisoara International Airport, and were subsequently transported to Timisoara Regional Storage Center. Transport to the storage center was ensured by the manufacturing company, including by land, authorities have indicated.