Daily Newsletter - 3 April 2019


Macroeconomic News (3)

CPI rose more than expected

The annual inflation rate increased from 3.27% in December to 3.32% in January and 3.83% in February, exceeding the upper limit of the fluctuation range, according to a press release issued by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to explain its decision to keep the key rate at 2.5%. Every major component of the consumer price index rose more than expected between December and February, but the decisive factor was the significant increase in vegetable and fruit prices.


136 farmers joined garlic production support program

136 farmers from across the country joined the program designed to support the local production of garlic by April 1, out of a total of 299 interested in benefiting from the EUR 1,000 per hectare bonus, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Most of these farmers come from the Teleorman, Satu Mare, Botosani, Buzau, Mures, Timis, Constanta and Bihor counties.


MFP sells more retail bonds

The subscription period for four new issues of state bonds under the "Tezaur" Program was launched on Tuesday, according to an official announcement from the Ministry of Finance (MFP). The Ministry promised annual interest rates of 3.5%, 4%, 4.5% and 5% for bonds maturing in 1, 2, 3 and 5 years. The one year notes bear an interest rate equal to the BNR inflation target and close to next year's estimated CPI.


Financial News (4)

Banks prefer to finance consumption over manufacturing

Retail loans account for 38% of all the loans reported by the banks, followed by service companies with 25%. The industry ranks third with only 17% of the total. Local bankers prefer to finance consumption rather than manufacturing, according to data aggregated by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).


BNR Governor: Repatriating the gold reserves does not require a law

Repatriating Romania's gold reserves requires only the Parliament's consent, not a modification of BNR's charter, according to Governor Mugur Isarescu. "I can only share the board's opinion. We will discuss the issue and sent BNR's advice or opinion to the Parliament. We are within the 30-day limit," said Isarescu.


Isarescu announces higher interest rates

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) wants to maintain strict control over the money market liquidity, which would push market rates toward the Lombard rate (3.5%), according to BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu. The Governor added that banks would be forced to increase the interest rates paid on deposits.


Teodorovici: New formula is better

The difference between the new ROBOR formula, based on inter-bank transactions, and the old one works to the debtors' advantage, according to the Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici. "Our formula shows 2.6% for today, while ROBOR is somewhere above 3.2%. It's a clear drop," said Teodorovici.


Investment News (2)

EC provides EUR 1.87 billion for four major projects

The representative of the European Commission in Bucharest announced on Tuesday that four major projects submitted by Romania had received the approval of European Commissioner Corina Cretu. The four projects are part of the Major Infrastructure Program (POIM) and focus on improving Bucharest's public transport system, protecting the Black Sea coast and upgrading and extended water and sewerage coverage in the Timis county.


Minister of Health vows regional hospitals will be built

Health Minister Sorina Pintea presented on Tuesday details regarding the construction of the three regional hospitals. The project is financed with European Union funds. Pintea said hospitals would be completed, perhaps "not when we wanted, not within the deadlines originally set by the European Investment Bank (EIB) consultants, but they will built".


Legislative News (1)

Toader says judiciary amendments needed

Justice Minister Tudorel Toader says there is an urgent need to amend the criminal codes as there are many decisions of the Constitutional Court, as well as European directives that need to be implemented, such as extended confiscation and strengthening the presumption of innocence. Tudorel Toader said on Tuesday he had not received an invitation to a coalition meeting to discuss a decree to this effect, but added he would honor such an invitation.


Politics (2)

Parties received more than RON 13 million in state subsidies

The parties that make up the Parliament received more than RON 13 million in state subsidies in March. More than half of the total went to the Social Democratic Party (PSD), according to the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP). PNL got RON 3.4 million, while USR received RON 1.02 million.


President Iohannis blasts PSD in Parliament speech

President Klaus Iohannis stated during yesterday's speech before the Parliament that the PSD government has failed to rise to the challenge of these times and that it has undermined the rule of law through its measures. "The unprecedented attack of the PSD majority against the rule of law could undermine our country's position in NATO and the European Union," said the president.