Daily Newsletter - 25 May 2022


Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (4)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Ruling coalition decided upon the launch a new package of social and economic measures
On Monday, the ruling coalition launched a new package of social and economic measures, called "Support for Romania", worth EUR 1.1 billion. The coalition announced that citizens and companies facing financial difficulties due to the recent multiple crises can postpone the payment of their bank loan instalments for 9 months. Another measure targets employees, namely the granting of a quarter of the difference in salary in accordance with the unitary salary law for public sector employees. Moreover, all pensioners with pensions under RON 2,000 will receive a one-off support of RON 700. The measures will be implemented on 1 July 2022.
Deposits of non-government clients increased by 0.4% in April
Deposits of non-government clients increased by 0.4% in April 2022 compared to the previous month, to RON 480.615 billion, and were up 10.9% year-on-year (-2.5% in real terms). Deposits in RON of residents, accounting for 62.4% in total deposits of non-governmental clients, grew by 0.5% month-on-month, to RON 299.966 billion and by 6.2% compared to April 2021 (-6.6% in real terms), according to NBR data. Households’ deposits in RON were up 0.8% against the previous month, to RON 158.159 billion, and by 0.7% (-11.5% in real terms) compared to the same period of last year.
Visa and Western Union entered into a partnership in Germany and Romania
Visa and Western Union have entered into a partnership in Germany and Romania upon the launch of WU+, an integrated digital banking and international money transfer application. Users of the WU+ app will be able to open digital bank accounts and pay across all channels with their Visa Platinum debit card. WU+ customers can hold a digital bank account in 13 currencies, instantly send and receive money internationally to and from other WU+ account holders, free of charge. They can also use their Visa Platinum debit card, linked to their bank account, to pay for purchases anywhere Visa cards are accepted. The app users can thus access both Visa’s global payment network and Western Union’s vast global retail network to make transactions.
Fitch Ratings has improved Libra Internet Bank’s outlook
Fitch Ratings has revised Libra Internet Bank S.A.’s outlook to stable from negative, citing the bank’s stronger-than-expected resilience to pandemic-related risks and its high potential to absorb potential pressures amid the war in Ukraine. Moreover, the financial rating agency has affirmed Libra Internet Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at "BB-" and the bank’s Viability Rating (VR) at "bb-".
Uniqa Asigurări and Uniqa Asigurări de Viaţă recorded EUR 27 million underwritten premiums
Uniqa Romania, present on the local market through two companies, Uniqa Asigurări and Uniqa Asigurări de Viață, part of the Austrian group Uniqa, ended the first three months of 2022 with EUR 27 million cumulated gross underwritten premiums, up by 7% year-on-year, according to information provided by Uniqa representatives. Moreover, the two companies recorded a cumulative net profit of EUR 2.1 million in Q1/2022, up by 3.4% against the similar period of 2021.
Elbi Electric & Lighting has invested over EUR 3 million in a new warehouse
Romanian lighting equipment distributor Elbi Electric & Lighting, controlled by businessman Cristinel Sandu, has invested more than EUR 3 million in equipment and automation systems for a new warehouse to be inaugurated in November 2022 within the P3 Bucharest A1 logistics park. The warehouse will generate more than 150 jobs, ensuring the delivery of products to both domestic and foreign markets.
Cosmetic Plant plans to invest around EUR 200,000 this year
Cosmetic Plant, one of the main Romanian producers in the local cosmetics industry, which recorded a RON 11.9 million (EUR 2.4 million) turnover in 2021, up by 6% year-on-year, plans to invest around EUR 200,000 this year in automating its production capacity. The company’s plans for the future also include investments in a new factory and expansion abroad. In the future, depending on the development of the company’s sales, hence of demand, business plans also include increasing production capacity so that it can develop new products, especially for export, according to Susana Laszlo, Cosmetic Plant’s general manager.
German group BMW is exploring new investments in solar, geothermal and hydrogen energy
German group BMW is exploring new investments in solar, geothermal and hydrogen energy to reduce its dependence on natural gas, the automotive manufacturer’s head of production said yesterday, warning that an embargo on Russian gas would bring the industry to an impasse. The carmaker, which relied on natural gas for 54% of its energy consumption in 2021, is analyzing where it can add solar panels to its plants and is drawing up plans with local authorities to transport hydrogen to its plant in Leipzig, Germany.
PNL MP Raluca Turcan submitted two draft laws to the Chamber of Deputies on Monday
PNL MP Raluca Turcan has announced that she submitted two draft laws "aimed at protecting jobs in the private sector" to the Chamber of Deputies on Monday. One of them provides for flexible working hours through measures such as kurzarbeit and furlough decided at local level as well. The second draft law targets on-demand employment contracts and multiple-employer contracts.
Chamber of Deputies’ Legal Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative proposal
People who were definitively convicted of criminal offences may not run for parliamentary elections unless the offence has been rehabilitated, amnestied or de-criminalized, according to a legislative proposal adopted by the Chamber of Deputies’ Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The draft law is to be voted on during the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies, with a joint report from the Administration Committee as well.
President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law approving OUG 53/2019
On Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law approving the Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 53/2019 on the approval of the Multiannual Program for financing investments for the modernization, rehabilitation, retrofitting and extension or establishment of localities’ centralized heat supply systems and amending and completing the Community Public Utility Services Law no. 51/2006, according to the Presidential Administration. The legislative interventions are justified in the Explanatory Memorandum by the fact that, "the 2006-2020 Heat and Comfort Public Heating Supply Program is currently financed on an annual basis, which requires an analysis and evaluation of projects and, above all, the conclusion of financing contracts every calendar year, without ensuring predictability in the completion of investments".
Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law extending the interruption of radio communications
The Presidential Administration has announced that on Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the normative act amending and completing Law 374/2013 on the use of systems for blocking and interrupting radio communications in the perimeters of units subordinated to the National Prisons Administration. The normative act stipulates the possibility to purchase other services or equipment that contribute to reducing the use by imprisoned persons of electronic communication services provided via radio waves.
European News 
Romania wants to develop its strategic partnership with the USA
Romania, the only European country with North American nuclear technology, wants to develop its strategic partnership with the US, said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă after meeting with US Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David M. Turk at the Victoria Palace in Bucharest. The talks also focused on European energy security and the expansion of Romania’s civil nuclear program. PM Ciucă also supported the need to expand Romania’s electricity generation capacities as part of the steps that can contribute to strengthening security in the region.
Fewer and fewer Romanians can afford to buy a new residence
Colliers indicates that fewer and fewer Romanians can afford to buy a new residence, as prices continue to grow at a significantly faster rate than wages, amid the rising prices of building material and the current economic conditions. Cluj-Napoca remains the most expensive city in Romania, where buying a new standard apartment costs the equivalent of an average salary earned over 12.5 years of work. A person in Bucharest needs 8.4 years’ salary for such a purchase.
6 out of 10 Romanians in urban areas say reducing consumption could solve inflation problem
Six out of ten Romanians living in urban areas (58%) say that reducing consumption could solve the inflation problem, with significantly higher shares of men (63%), people aged over 55 (71%) and people with high incomes (65%), while 42% believe that asking for a pay rise would be a solution, according to a Reveal Marketing Research survey. Young people aged 18-24 are the least likely to change their lifestyle and consumption habits (53%), and 58% of them would opt for asking for a salary increase.