News

Daily Newsletter - 24 November 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (4)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Macroeconomic 
Global economy should avoid a recession next year
Global economy should avoid a recession next year, but the worst energy crisis since the 1970s will trigger a sharp slowdown, with Europe hit hardest, the OECD said, adding that fighting inflation should be policymakers’ top priority. National outlooks vary widely, although Britain’s economy is set to lag major peers, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicated on Tuesday. It forecast that world economic growth would slow from 3.1% this year - slightly more than the OECD foresaw in its September projections - to 2.2% next year, before accelerating to 2.7% in 2024.
Global debt decreased by USD 6.45 trillion in Q3/2022
Global debt decreased by USD 6.45 trillion in Q3/2022, to USD 290.6 trillion, amid the rapid rise in financing costs. This is the second consecutive quarterly decline after 14 consecutive increases from Q4/2018 to Q1/2022. Emerging markets contributed USD 2.45 trillion and advanced economies contributed USD 4 trillion to the USD 6.45 trillion downturn due to massive declines recorded in Japan, France, Great Britain and Canada. The biggest declines in emerging economies were reported in China, Russia and South Korea.
Supply chains support Romania’s economy
According to a local study conducted by EY, Romania has all the necessary tools allowing it to act, at the moment and in the current economic context, as the main facilitator of supply chains between Western and Eastern Europe. 74% of participants in this study believe that Romania can become a leading supplier. Only 14% of them believe that Romania does not have the strength to gain this status, and 12% said they did not know what to say about this aspect. Most of the respondents who believe that Romania will play a key role in securing transition between Eastern and Western Europe activate in the IT & software sector- 73%, in the trade sector – 67% and in the automotive industry - 67%.
The main activity of active enterprises in 2021 was the provision of market services
More than 50% of the total number of active enterprises, namely 50.1%, had market services as their main activity and this sector also had the highest average number of employees in 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The average number of employees grew by 1.2% in 2021, compared to 2020. Businesses operating on the market services sector had the largest share in terms of average number of employees (36.8%), followed by those in industry (30.8%). According to INS data, the average size of a business in industry was of about 21 employees, while in trade, it was of about 5 employees.
Financial 
Uniqa announces growing turnover and profit
On Wednesday, Uniqa Group, the insurer that exited the market of mandatory civil liability car insurance (RCA) policies last year, announced nearly EUR 83 million revenues and a net profit of EUR 5.5 million for the first nine months of 2022, more than in the same period of last year. The two companies part of the group, namely Uniqa Asigurări and Uniqa Asigurări de Viață, recorded almost EUR 83 million total gross written premiums in the first nine months of 2022, according to IFRS, up by 6% year-on-year.
Raiffeisen Bank has launched the first Visa Platinum Business card for corporate clients
Raiffeisen Bank has launched the first Visa Platinum Business card for corporate clients. The product targets business people who travel a lot, conduct business abroad and have partnerships with external suppliers. In addition to the usual operations - cash withdrawals in Romania and abroad, operations at ATMs/MFMs/POSs, online payments, automatic conversion into the currency of the country where the card is used, free payment at merchants, etc. - the card offers access to LoungeKey in airports in Romania and around the world, access to the Air Refund platform (compensation of up to EUR 600 if the flight was cancelled or denied boarding), the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection program, offers for shopping, restaurants, entertainment, art and travel, as well as travel insurance.
Banks’ net interest income was RON 14.4 billion in the first nine months of 2022
Banks’ cumulative net income from their core business, i.e. net interest income (obtained revenues minus interest expenses) and net fee and commission income, exceeded RON 18 billion at the end of the first nine months of 2022, while the operating profit at the level of the banking system was RON 10 billion, the difference being quite large. The data transmitted by NBR indicates that the level of net interest income in the first nine months of 2022 stood at RON 14.4 billion, while net fee and commission income reached RON 3.8 billion, the combined level being 20% higher than the net income recorded in the first nine months of 2021.
50% of the medical market works with Banca Transilvania
Banca Transilvania, a financier of the medical sector, supports over 60,000 physicians and medical businesses. BT has contributed considerably to the development of the Romanian private healthcare system especially in the past 15 years, with the establishment of the Division for physicians (DPM). Through DPM, the bank supports private initiatives in the medical field. Clients are individuals and legal entities - hospitals, clinics, individual medical practices, limited liability companies (SRL), authorized natural entities (PFA), dental laboratories, as well as medical equipment suppliers.
Investment 
Developer Tower Invest is building a project consisting of 68 houses on the outskirts of Sibiu
Real estate developer Tower Invest has started construction works on a district of houses on the outskirts of Sibiu, between Şura Mică and Ocna Sibiului localities, an investment estimated at EUR 12 million, Paul Achim, co-founder of Tower Invest, explained during the ZF Invest in Romania! program, produced in partnership with CEC Bank. He is entrepreneur Remus Ivanciuc’s partner in Tower Invest.
Mazda Motor unveiled a USD 10.6 billion spending plan
On Tuesday, 22 November, Japanese company Mazda unveiled a USD 10.6 billion spending plan to electrify its vehicles and said it was also considering investing in battery production, Reuters reports. The company also raised its sales target for electric vehicles (EVs) to 40% of total global sales by 2030, as automotive manufacturers around the world spend billions of dollars to ramp up batteries and electric vehicles production in the face of tougher environmental regulations.
Zarea to invest EUR 20 million for the construction of a new factory
The producer of Zarea, Dorato and Amarol alcoholic beverages, part of the German group Schloss Wachenheim, will invest EUR 20 million for the construction of a new plant, in Mizil. The investment has been signed for Ploiești Industrial Park (PIP). Zarea, which has been present on the local market since 1912, has been part of the German group Schloss Wachenheim, one of the largest sparkling wine producers, since 2004.
Legislative 
A PNL MP has initiated a draft law that totally bans casino and gambling advertising
Liberal (PNL) deputy Adrian Cozma has initiated a draft law banning "any form of advertising" for casinos and gambling, according to a document published on the Chamber of Deputies’ website. The draft law also stipulates that the fine for breaking the law should be between RON 10,000 and RON 50,000. The gambling advertising market has seen steady growth in recent years.
Draft law banning the use of antivirus software services from Russia has been adopted
During the plenary session on Wednesday, 23 November, the majority of MPs (257 votes) voted in favor of the draft law regarding the protection of public authorities and institutions’ information systems, amid the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. The law aims to prevent and counter cyber threats by state and non-state actors to communications and information technology infrastructures critical to national security, an amendment indicates.
Minimum number of employees required to form a trade union will be reduced from 15 to 10
The minimum number of employees required to form a trade union will be reduced from 15 to 10, and representativeness thresholds for trade unions and employers’ associations will be lowered, according to a new Social Dialog Law, which was adopted by Parliament through a final vote in the Chamber of Deputies. The new law, which has yet to be promulgated by the head of state, establishes new rules regarding the negotiation of collective labor agreements, representation in negotiations, but also new forms of triggering a labor dispute, such as strikes against the government’s social and economic policy or solidarity strikes with employees from other companies.
European News 
EU countries have spent billions to help citizens get through the energy crisis
EU countries, including Germany, have spent billions to help citizens get through the energy crisis, though measures have not been targeted towards society’s most vulnerable, the European Commission said on Tuesday (22 November). Aid packages worth billions were launched by EU governments to fend off the energy crisis, despite criticism related to their scale. Germany, for one, went as far as to announce a relief package worth up to EUR 200 billion. However, two-thirds of government measures aimed at helping households and businesses did not target society’s most vulnerable, a report on the budgetary situation of the eurozone the Commission presented in Strasbourg on Tuesday (22 November) reads.
Social 
Employers are granting more and more fringe benefits
The social and economic challenges of 2022 have intensified the trend of choice-based fringe benefits, and, starting from 2023, benefit packages may change according to the new legislation, BestJobs.ro specialists have indicated. According to them, the labor market has been on candidates’ side in 2022, with most sectors facing skilled staff shortages. Moreover, recruitment efforts have also been hampered by the social-economic context, and employers’ budgets to attract and retain staff has had to be maximized.
Romania is below EU average in terms of percentage of GDP allocated to education
A study conducted by Cult Market Research for Petrom Foundation on education in nurseries and kindergartens indicates that Romania is below the European average both in terms of children’s participation in early education and of percentage of GDP allocated to education. A 5.5% decrease in children’s participation in early education was recorded in Romania between 2010 and 2020, while in the EU, there was a slight increase of 1%.
Share of higher education graduates was 16.4% in 2021
The Social Monitor, a project of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Romania, has updated an infographic on the share of higher education graduates in Romania, according to a press release. The cited source indicates that the share of tertiary education graduates in the total population aged 15-64 years in Romania was 16.4% in 2021, slightly above half of the European Union average - 29.5%. This figure is nearly 10% lower than that of Bulgaria (25.9%).