News

Daily Newsletter - 3 August 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Economic sentiment among private equity firms in Central Europe is dropping
Economic sentiment among representatives of private equity firms in Central Europe is at its second lowest level in history since October 2008. 86% of them expect economic conditions to deteriorate in the following months as Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and inflation have strong negative effects on purchases, supply chains and interest rates, according to a Deloitte survey. Pessimism is even stronger than at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and none of the participants in the survey expects the overall economic climate to improve.
Personal funds transferred in Romania in the first six months of 2022 increased by 41%
Personal funds transferred in Romania in the first six months of 2022 increased by 41% compared to the same period of 2021, according to data recorded by Revolut, which has 20 million clients, over 2 million of them in Romania. Moreover, the number of peer2peer transactions to users in Romania grew by 49% compared to the previous period, and the number of clients using the financial super-app to transfer personal funds in Romania also followed an upward trend (+54%).
Industrial producer prices grew by 48.1% in June
Industrial producer prices (local and external market) grew by 48.1% in June 2022, compared to the same month of 2021, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Tuesday, 2 August. Moreover, overall industrial producer prices (local and external market) recorded a 3.1% month-on-month advance in June 2022. The industrial producer price index at the level of the domestic market was up 3.89% in June, compared to May 2022, and 61.20% against June 2021. Moreover, price increases on the external market were 1.53% (compared to May 2022) and 25.47% (compared to June 2021).
Financial 
Erste CEO says Romanian economy and banking market still offer many opportunities
Willi Cernko, the new CEO of the Austrian group Erste, BCR’s main shareholder, has stated that the Romanian economy and banking market still offer many opportunities and Erste has every reason to stay here, especially as Romania has become a core market for the Austrian group, after the Czech Republic. Erste has a positive forecast for Romania, expecting 5.1% economic growth this year, compared to 3.7% on the Central and Eastern European markets where Erste is present or 2.7% for the euro area.
Agricover Credit IFN has contracted a EUR 20 million loan from EBRD
Agricover Credit IFN, the financing division of Agricover Group, one of the most important players in Romanian agribusiness, has contracted a EUR 20 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support local farmers’ investments and working capital financing. The loan is part of the EBRD’s EUR 2 billion Resilience and Livelihoods Framework, a project aimed at supporting companies and countries affected by the war in Ukraine.
Raiffeisen Bank ended H1/2022 with a RON 602 million net profit
Raiffeisen Bank obtained a net profit of RON 602 million in H1 of 2022, up by 50% year-on-year, supported by the considerable advance of lending, but also by a significantly improved risk profile. The bank’s total assets exceeded RON 60 billion on 30 June, up by 11% compared to the same period of 2021, while the bank’s revenues, of nearly RON 1.5 billion, grew by 14% year-on-year, according to the institution’s financial report.
Investment 
Sălaj County Council invests in the rehabilitation and modernization of 30 road kilometres
Sălaj County Council has obtained RON 140 million (over EUR 28 million) financing from government funds allocated through the "Anghel Saligny" National Investments Program for seven road infrastructure projects. Three county road sections, totaling almost 30 kilometers, will thus be rehabilitated and modernized with the funds distributed through this program, and four bridges will be made safe or consolidated.
Hotel company Turism Felix continues investments in Venus-Băile 1 Mai swimming center
Hotel company Turism Felix, the owner of the touristy complex in Băile Felix resort, has contracted a RON 40 million loan from Banca Transilvania to continue investments in the Venus-Băile 1 Mai swimming center. According to an announcement published on Bucharest Stock Exchange, the investment loan is due in 2032 and is secured by a mortgage on the land the swimming center is located on, in Băile 1 Mai, Bihor County. Turism Băile Felix manages five hotels rated two, three and four stars, a swimming center, as well as wellness & spa centers. The company recorded a RON 82 million turnover in 2021, up by 54% year-on-year, and a RON 11 million net profit.
Pro Economica Alapítvány Foundation inaugurates a hotel in the center of Sfântu Gheorghe
Pro Economica Alapítvány Foundation has inaugurated B the Hotel, a four-star hotel in the center of Sfântu Gheorghe, following a EUR 5 million investment. The hotel was developed on the existing structure of an old center for single persons in the city, purchased by the current owner in 2017. The hotel has 42 rooms of different capacities and with various facilities. Moreover, it also has a spacious conference room with a capacity of 30-40 people, where various workshops, team-meetings, presentations or mini-events can be organized.
Legislative 
UDMR Deputy Kolcsar Karoly has submitted a draft law amending the Archiving Law
Deputy Kolcsar Karoly, from the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), has submitted a draft law amending the Archiving Law, by proposing a reduced period during which companies have the obligation to keep documents on paper from 10 to 5 years, so that companies should no longer suffocated by bureaucracy and the environment should be protected. The MP has indicated that he submitted the draft law on the last day of the parliamentary session and that he has the support of his colleagues from other political parties for the draft to be adopted as soon as possible.
Deputy Raluca Turcan supports the draft Pre-University Education Law, currently under debate
Deputy Raluca Turcan, from the National Liberal Party (PNL), has stated that she supports the draft Pre-University Education Law, currently up for public consultation, pointing out that it includes projects she had fought for in Parliament and which sources of financing have been found for. She mentioned the after school and school meal programs, free transportation, as well as merit-based payments for teachers. Raluca Turcan indicated, in a statement transmitted on Tuesday, 2 August that the National Education Act had undergone almost 400 amendments in the past 11 years, through Government Emergency Ordinances (OUG), draft laws passed by Parliament, constitutional challenges, completions and all sorts of references to other national or European legal provisions.
A favorable opinion has been issued on legislative initiative amending Citizenship Law
On Tuesday, 2 August, the Economic and Social Council (ESC) issued a favorable opinion on the legislative initiative amending the Romanian Citizenship Law in favor of ethnic Romanians from traditional historical communities in the Balkans and Europe, according to the vice-president of the Alliance for Romanians’ Unity (AUR) Ringo Dămureanu, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies’ Constitutionality Committee. The draft law also mentions the possibility of establishing residence in the country or maintaining it abroad. Moreover, another provision refers to the minor children of applicants for Romanian citizenship, in the sense that they also acquire Romanian citizenship at their parents’ request, upon their application or subsequently, before turning 18.
European News 
EU approves EUR 3 billion German green heating scheme
The European Commission said on Tuesday, 2 August, it had approved the German government’s EUR 3 billion scheme to support renewable energy and waste heat-based district heating programs, which it said would help Germany and the EU achieve their climate change targets. The EUR 2.98 billion scheme would promote green energy by offering government grants until 2028 to new district heating networks run on at least 75% renewable energy and waste heat or to projects decarbonizing existing networks.
Social 
New rights to improve work-life balance in EU entered into force on 2 August
The European Commission has announced that as of Tuesday, 2 August, all European Union member states must apply the EU-wide rules to improve the work-life balance of parents and carers adopted in 2019. According to a press release issued by the EC, these rules set out minimum standards for paternity, parental leave and carers’ leave and establish additional rights, such as the right to request flexible working arrangements, which will help people develop their careers and family life without having to sacrifice either.
Increasing the quality of living for Roma minority is a priority of the Government
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă said, in a message transmitted on the occasion of the National Roma Holocaust Memorial Day – Samudaripen that increasing the quality of living for Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority, based on active citizenship, social-economic inclusion and valorization of the Roma cultural heritage, was a priority of the Government. He added that assuming the traumatic lessons of history and condemning those responsible were part of the firm commitment to never allow such tragedies to happen again.