News

Daily Newsletter - 3 May 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (4)
Investment (4)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Finance Ministry to carry out session for registration of applications for financing agreements
During the period 15 June-26 July, the Ministry of Finance is to carry out a new session for the registration of applications for financing agreements, based on Governmental Decree 807/2014 for the establishment of state aid schemes aimed at boosting investments with a major impact in economy. RON 700 million will be allocated for this session to finance over EUR 1 million investments. 92 sectors of activity will benefit from financing, such as: manufacturing, constructions, HORECA, information and communications, healthcare and social assistance.
Interview with Mustafa Tiftikcioglu about the economic impact of Ukraine conflict on Romania
Mustafa Tiftikcioglu, the CEO of Garanti BBVA Romania, spoke, in an interview, about the economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine on Romania. He said, among other things, that the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine was generating changes in the Romanian economy and banking system, but it was too early to say for sure how things would evolve. In his opinion, the overall situation has inevitably changed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Latest economic reports show only 0.2% economic growth in the euro area in Q1/2022
The latest economic reports in Europe show only 0.2% economic growth in the euro area in Q1/2022 compared to the previous quarter, while inflation reached a new record high, of 7.5%, according to a press release. This evolution undermines the value of the single European currency and adds to the already difficult situation of the European Central Bank. According to the cited source, euro area economic growth in the first quarter of the year was lower than expected, as the economic weakness shown by France and Italy cancelled out the advance given by some resilience in Germany and Spain, as the conflict in Ukraine significantly impacts European economies.
Financial 
NBR’s foreign exchange reserves grew by EUR 358 million in April compared to March
The National Bank of Romania (NBR)’s foreign exchange reserves grew by EUR 358 million in April compared to March, to EUR 40.5 billion, following EUR 3.56 billion inflows and EUR 3.2 billion outflows. The EUR 3.56 billion foreign exchange inflows represented changes in credit institutions’ foreign currency-denominated required reserves with the NBR, inflows into the Ministry of Finance’s accounts, inflows into the European Commission’s account and other, according to data published by NBR on Monday.
Raiffeisen Bank has launched the Startup Studio by Factory program
During the period 2-20 May, entrepreneurs at the beginning of their journey can apply for the Startup Studio by Factory program, launched by Raiffeisen Bank, within which business ideas are discussed with mentors and specialists in order to have the best chances to obtain financing. At the end of the program, the entrepreneurs with the best business ideas can get an up to €50,000 loan. 144 entrepreneurs and over 50 mentors participated in the first edition of the program.
Credit Europe Bank Romania ended 2021 with a RON 70 million net profit
Credit Europe Bank Romania ended 2021 with a RON 70 million net profit, compared to the RON 17 million losses incurred in 2020. The advance mainly came from the increase in credit card turnover, but also from the decrease in operating expenses. The bank’s assets reached RON 4.3 billion, up from RON 4.1 billion in 2020, while the loans portfolio stayed at RON 2 billion, the bank announced on Monday. Attracted deposits grew slightly, to RON 2.5 billion, up from RON 2.4 billion in 2020.
CEC Bank has become a primary dealer on the government securities market
CEC Bank has been a primary dealer on the government securities market since yesterday, which allows the bank to participate directly in public auctions and subscriptions of government securities, alongside the other seven financial institutions that have this status. Apart from CEC Bank, the other banks that currently have a primary dealer status are BCR, BRD, Banca Transilvania, Citibank Europe, ING Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and UniCredit Bank.
Investment 
British clothing retailer Primark is expanding in Romania
British clothing retailer Primark, one of the biggest companies activating in the sector, which sells its products at affordable prices, is expanding in Romania, and will open a store in AFI Cotroceni shopping center. Primark announced its arrival onto the Romanian market at the beginning of this year. The announcement indicated, at the time, that Primark was preparing the biggest expansion of its stores network since 2006, mostly in Europe and the United States, its low price policy attracting customers without the support of online offers.
Romanian optical retailer Lensa aims to inaugurate at least eight new stores in 2022
Romanian optical retailer Lensa recorded, after 9 years of activity, an over EUR 40 million (over RON 200 million) cumulative turnover for the period May 2013 - April 2022. The company targets EUR 19 million sales and aims to inaugurate at least eight new stores in 2022. The company has indicated that investments in the expansion of Lensa stores chain have increased year on year.
Medicover Romania is buying Laurus Medical clinics network
Medicover, one of the biggest private healthcare service providers in Romania, has announced the signing of the contract for the acquisition of Laurus Medical, a niche healthcare services network which performs minimally invasive treatments in proctology and in venous system disorders and which has established itself as one of the most active and well-known private healthcare operators in this field for 17 years. The investment in Laurus Medical is substantial and represents an important strategic step for Medicover’s development in Romania.
ROCA Industry has signed for Dia’s full takeover
ROCA Industry, ROCA Investments’ holding company in the building materials sector, has signed the contract for the full (100%) takeover of Dial, a company with more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing of wire products such as fence panels. This transaction, which is in the process of being authorized by the Competition Council, ensures the succession of the Romanian manufacturer, which ended 2021 with a turnover of about EUR 12 million. The company, which specializes in edged fence panels, braided fence mesh, Rabitz wire mesh, rectangular posts and more, plans to make approximately RON 40 million total investments.
Legislative 
Senate MPs’ aggression will be punished with a pay cut
Repeated disruption of parliamentary order through the use of any form of direct physical or verbal aggression towards any person present at parliamentary activities constitutes a disciplinary offence and shall be sanctioned by withholding up to 50% of the senator’s gross monthly salary for a period of up to 6 months, according to the amendments brought to the Senate’s Regulation, voted on during the plenary session. There were 72 votes in favor of the amendments, 12 votes against them and 21 abstentions.
Police officers will be able to detain persons in the police station for 12 hours for verifications
Police officers will be able to take persons to the police station for verifications, where they can be detained for up to 12 hours for this purpose, according to a draft law promulgated by President Iohannis. The police’s obligation to allow the person to leave the station is only established after the 12 hours have expired, even if the person’s identity has not been established. The draft law had been initiated by Cîțu government and was adopted by Parliament a month ago, through the final vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
European News 
Existing certification schemes to inspire EU plan for carbon removals
The European Commission’s proposal to regulate the bloc’s carbon removals market will be based on existing verification and certification schemes and will aim to create a common method in order to bring more transparency to the opaque sector, an EU official has said. The carbon removals market, which refers to the capturing, recycling and storing of CO2 by farmers, foresters and industries, plays a key role in achieving the land sector’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035. However, inconsistencies in measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) processes offered by various private bodies have resulted in low prices on the voluntary market, providing little incentives for investors.
Social 
74% of young people in Romania are satisfied with their current life
74% of young people in Romania are optimistic about the future of the European Union and show greater openness and support for European policies than other age categories. Moreover, 74% of the youth in Romania are satisfied with their current life and 61% of them believe that things are heading in the right direction in their personal life, according to a Eurobarometer survey. Furthermore, 64% of Romanian young people are happy with their lives (age group 15-24) and 70% are satisfied with their jobs.
The highest level of happiness among young people in Romania is recorded in Iaşi
The highest level of happiness among young people in Romania is recorded in Iaşi, while the lowest value is in Constanţa. Moreover, on a scale from 1 to 10, the average level of happiness of young people in Romania is 6.69, according to a study published on the occasion of the International Youth Day by the Romanian Youth Council, PONT Group, Cluj Youth Federation and Banca Comercială Română, as members of the Governance of the "Youth Capital of Romania" Program. According to the research entitled "Happy City - Youth after Pandemic", on average, young respondents rate the level of happiness in their cities at 5.99/10. Moreover, the degree of safety felt is above the average (6.63/10), and the cities received a score of 6.25/10 for proactivity.