Daily Newsletter - 3 March 2023


Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (4)
Investment (4)
Legislative (4)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Arrears to the general consolidated budget grew by 3.36% in January 2023
Arrears to the general consolidated budget grew by 3.36% in January 2023 compared to the previous month, to RON 292.11 million, from RON 282.59 million, according to data published on the Ministry of Finance (MF)’s website. Arrears over 90 days decreased by 17%, from RON 66.4 million to RON 55.1 million, those over 120 days increased by 5.6%, from RON 167.8 million in December 2022 to RON 177.2 million in January 2023. Moreover, arrears over 360 days rose from RON 48.3 million to RON 59.7 million (+23.6%).
Annual inflation rate in the euro area fell less than expected in February
Annual inflation rate in the euro area fell less than expected in February and core inflation rose, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to keep under control an inflation that is four times its 2% target. According to a preliminary estimate published by Eurostat on Thursday, annual inflation in the 20 euro area countries slowed to 8.5% in February from 8.6% the previous month. The figure announced by Eurostat is below analysts’ estimates of 8.2%. It is the fourth consecutive month of slowing prices in the euro area, after a record advance of 10.6% in October.
Overall industrial producer prices grew by 24% in January 2023
Overall industrial producer prices (local and external market) grew by 24% in January 2023 compared to January 2022, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Thursday, 2 March. Prices in the manufacturing industry increased by 14.21% in January 2023 year-on-year and by 0.31% compared to December 2022. Paper and paper products manufacturing and food production recorded the biggest cost increases in this category.
Banks granted RON 126.7 billion retail and corporate new loans in 2022
New retail and corporate loans granted by banks in Romania reached RON 126.7 billion in 2022, up by more than 14% compared to the level of new loans accessed in 2021, according to information centralized by the Right to Banking platform created by the Romanian Association of Banks (ARB). Between January and December, new loans accessed by the non-governmental segment totalled RON 110.5 billion.
Ministry of Finance borrowed nearly RON 1 billion from banks on Thursday, 2 March
The Ministry of Finance borrowed nearly RON 1 billion from banks on Thursday, 2 March, through two auctions of government securities, at yields of 7.99% and 7.27% per year. In the first auction, the Finance Ministry reopened a bonds issue maturing in 2036 and borrowed RON 665 million from banks, above the planned sum of RON 400 million, at an annual interest rate of 7.99%. The total volume of demand was RON 1.13 billion, of which competitive bids totalled RON 990 million and non-competitive bids stood at RON 148 million.
Ramona Bernic has joined Uniqa Asigurări’s Board of Directors
Ramona Bernic has become a member of Uniqa Asigurări’s Board of Directors, Austrian group Uniqa’s general insurance division in Romania, as of March 2023, and is in charge of coordinating the Corporate & Affinity area. With more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry in sales, underwriting, claims and operations, of which almost 10 years dedicated to Uniqa’s business in both life and general insurance, Ramona Bernic assumes her new position within Uniqa from the role of Customer Care Director, from which she coordinated and implemented important, market-innovative digital transformation projects with a significant impact in improving Uniqa’s customer experience.
Allianz-Tiriac has a campaign through which it offers a free mandatory home insurance policy
Allianz-Tiriac has launched a campaign through which it offers a free compulsory home insurance policy (PAD) upon concluding a voluntary home insurance policy, according to information provided by the insurer. The mandatory PAD policy, valid for one year, is offered free of charge to customers who take out an optional home insurance policy issued by Allianz-Tiriac during the period 1 March - 14 April 2023.
Maviprod-IRUM group of companies plans to invest EUR 8-10 million this year
Maviprod-IRUM group of companies, owned by Oltean family from Reghin, plans to invest EUR 8-10 million this year, thus continuing the development program carried out in the past few years. In the first part of 2022, IRUM finalized an over EUR 5.3 million investment in a new 2,000 square meter painting unit, and in the second part of the year, apart from the modernization of administrative offices, the company focused on investments in technologies and equipment meant to render the research and development center’s work activity efficient.
Delgaz Grid plans to invest RON 915 million in gas and electricity networks this year
Delgaz Grid, part of E.ON group in Romania, plans to invest RON 915 million (over EUR 180 million) in 2023, 36% more than the previous year, the highest investment budget of the past 18 years. Since entering the Romanian market, the company has invested around EUR 1.6 billion in networks. The funds will mainly be used for the modernization, expansion, automation and digitalization of gas and electricity distribution networks.
Cake producer Angeline Cake Boutique has expanded following EUR 70,000 investment
Artisan cakes producer Angeline Cake Boutique, one of the most important brands on the Romanian pastry and confectionery market, has inaugurated its second sale unit, in Aviației area of Bucharest, following a EUR 70,000 investment. The new shop has a surface of 80 square meters, more generous than the first Angeline Cake Boutique unit, the one located in Victoriei Square.
E-Distribuţie invested over RON 106 million in 2022 in modernization of electricity networks
E-Distribuţie companies, the electricity distribution operators part of Enel group, have announced that they invested about RON 106 million from their own funds in high-voltage projects in Bucharest, Ilfov and in Dobrogea and Banat regions last year. According to company officials, E-Distribuţie Muntenia invested RON 60 million in the modernization of high-voltage lines and transformer stations in Bucharest, investments made by E-Distribuţie Dobrogea amounted to RON 18 million, in particular for the modernization and upgrading of transformer stations in Ialomița and Constanța Counties, while E-Distribuţie Banat invested RON 28.3 million, of which RON 9.8 million for the modernization of an overhead high-voltage power line in Hunedoara County.
President Iohannis promulgated the law approving OUG 81/2022
President Klaus Iohannis promulgated on Thursday, 2 March, the law approving Government Emergency Ordinance 81/2022 amending Article 9 of Government Ordinance 122/1998 on the accumulation, withdrawal and replenishment of products from the reserves of national defence forces, according to the Presidential Administration. The normative act allows donations of products from the national defence forces’ own reserves to the authorities of other states.
MP Florin Roman proposes amending and supplementing Article 469 of Law 227/2015
A draft law initiated by Liberal (PNL) deputy Florin Roman and submitted to Parliament proposes that people who have the title of Fighter for the Victory of the December 1989 Revolution should be exempt from paying tax on a car. The legislative proposal amends and supplements Article 469 of Law 227/2015 of the Tax Code. The initiator of the project points out that, according to the provisions of the Fiscal Code, it is up to the local public administrations whether or not they want to grant this facility which is provided for in Law 341/2004 on the recognition of the victory of the Romanian December 1989 Revolution, for the anti-communist workers’ uprising in Brasov in November 1987 and for the anti-communist workers’ uprising in Valea Jiului - Lupeni - August 1977.
PNL submitted to the Senate a draft law for the establishment of Local Gastronomic Points
Several Liberal (PNL) MPs have submitted to the Senate a draft law for the establishment and operation of Local Gastronomic Points, which are units for the valorisation of local primary production, situated in a rural locality, where food and drinks are prepared and served, according to recipes specific to the area, directly to the final consumer, for a maximum of 12 people at a time. The MPs believe this is the solution to enhance the value of rural primary production, especially in rural households, and opens up new market opportunities for farmers, by promoting and selling food products, valued higher, close to the source of production, in line with the objectives of the European strategy.
President Iohannis signed the decree promulgating the Law approving OUG 62/2022
On Thursday, 2 March, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law that provides for an increase from 90 days to 150 days in the validity of insurance policies concluded by insurance and reinsurance companies against which bankruptcy proceedings have been opened. The Head of State signed the decree promulgating the Law approving Government Emergency Ordinance 62/2022 with a view to amending Article 262, paragraph (32) of Law 85/2014 on insolvency prevention and insolvency proceedings and Government Emergency Ordinance 19/2022 on certain measures related to guarantees of good performance constituted under public procurement contracts and sectoral contracts.
European News 
Laura Kovesi wants to prosecute smugglers who undermine sanctions against Russia
Europe’s chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi is already investigating frauds that allegedly cost EU taxpayers 14 billion euros — now she wants to go after the smugglers undermining sanctions against Russia. The European Public Prosecutor’s Office is charged with probing any offence deemed to have cost the European Union money, which often means tracking international crime gangs and sophisticated cross-border VAT fraud operations.
Unemployment rate in Romania was 5.6% in January 2023
Unemployment rate in Romania was 5.6% in January 2023, the same as in December 2022, and 0.5% higher for men than for women, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics on Thursday, 2 March. The number of unemployed (aged 15-74) estimated for January 2023 was 465,000, down from the previous month (468,400) and down from the same period last year (495,600).
Nearly 100,000 acute respiratory infections have been recorded in Romania in the past week
A total of 93,350 cases of acute respiratory infections - clinical influenza, viral upper respiratory infection and pneumonia - were reported during the period 20-26 February, the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) announced on Thursday, 2 March. There were 7.3% fewer cases compared to the previous week. By 26 February, 1,476,411 people in at-risk groups had been vaccinated against influenza with serum distributed by the Ministry of Health.