Daily Newsletter - 25 June 2020


FIC (1)

Ramona Jurubita, FIC President and Country Managing Partner KPMG: "If we trust the economy and enjoy political cohesion, in the shape of clarity, predictability and decision transparency, we stand a good chance"

Ramona Jurubita: "The world is certainly undergoing a profound change, and these periods bring both challenges and opportunities. Whether we can benefit from opportunities depends on many factors, but Romania seems to have the right conditions to start a period of growth again. The rapid transformation of entrepreneurs, the availability of European funds, investment in strategic sectors, are all essential elements for growth. If we trust the economy and enjoy political cohesion, in the shape of clarity, predictability and decision transparency, we stand a good chance".


Macroeconomic News (4)

Almost EUR 2 million in aid for producers under PNDR

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) announced on Wednesday that the project submission session will be launched on June 30 for the "Establishment of producer groups in the fruit sector" sub-measure. The total budget for this sub-measure is EUR 1.98 million, allocated from the National Rural Development Program 2014 - 2020 (PNDR 2020).


Watermelon deficit reached a record EUR 15 million in 2019

Statistical data indicate "the worsening of the trade deficit with watermelons in recent years, to a record level of EUR 15.3 million in 2019", according to a report by Banca Transilvania (BT). One of the causes is the low national yield. "The yield per hectare is below the European Union average, by about 40% for muskmelons and about 30% for watermelons," according to the report.


Labor market hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

More than 467,000 jobs have been wiped out between March 16 and June 1, according to data released by the Labor Inspectorate (IM). The national labor market lost almost 6,100 jobs per day in the above mentioned period. The number of terminated contracts stood at 467,453 on June 1.


Real estate transactions keep falling

The number of real estate transactions reached around 32,000 contracts in May, a 27.8% reduction compared to the corresponding month of 2019, according to ANCPI data. The value of transactions fell 4.5%.


Financial News (4)

Retail deposits up 13%

The RON-denominated deposits belonging to retail clients reached RON 139.06 billion in May, up 0.8% from the previous month and 13% from the corresponding month of the previous year, according to the National Bank of Romania (BNR).


Private borrowing continued to fall in May

The data published by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) show the deterioration of the non-government credit balance and the acceleration of non-government deposits. Borrowing was affected strongly by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the lifting of some restrictions in May.


Mugur Podaru (CEC Bank): COVID crisis pushed us ahead 5 years in service digitization

"With the Covid crisis, we took a five-year leap in the digitization of banking services. That's how we see it. We had to prioritize some things so that we could meet the needs of our customers. We kept the traditional network and services offered through it. We had to take measures to protect both customers and employees. But at the same time, we focused on providing digital services and some state-of-the-art technology," said Mugur Podaru, head of Remote Operations at CEC Bank.


Raiffeisen Bank cuts interest rate by 2.5 points

Raiffeisen Bank has slashed by 2.5 percentage points the interest rate for unsecured, RON-denominated personal needs loans (Flexicredit). The reduction is valid between June 23 and August 7, giving clients who receive their salaries in Raiffeisen accounts access to flat interest rates of 8% for up to five years.


Investment News (2)

Offshore drilling would help economy, but politicians are in no hurry

Offshore drilling plans are surprisingly popular in Romania, but unfortunately, the political leaders in Bucharest do not seem to be in a hurry to help carry out a multi-billion dollar project. Politicians who have trouble agreeing on a law that would give the green light to investment could look at the results of a survey conducted by research firm Inscop and the Romanian Academy, which shows that almost eight out of ten Romanians are in favor of pumping out Black Sea gas.


REC Immpuls ends first construction phase at Deutsche Schule Bukarest

REC Immpuls, the local subsidiary of REC Partners GmbH, has completed the first construction phase of the Deutsche Schule Bukarest campus. The first phase of the project cost a total of EUR 10 million.


Legislative News (2)

Chamber supports building tax incentive

The Chamber of Deputies passed on Wednesday the Government Decree 60/2020, which extends the building tax payment facilities until the end of the fiscal year 2020.


President refers sex education bill to CCR

President Klaus Iohannis contested before the Constitutional Court of Romania the bill that makes student participation in sex education dependent on parental consent. The course is no longer called sex education, but sanitary education.


Politics (1)

PSD accused President Iohannis of having nurtured around him "a criminal organization that stole hundreds of millions"

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) accused President Iohannis on Wednesday of having nurtured around him "a criminal organization that stole hundreds of millions in tax money".