Daily Newsletter - 4 December 2017


Macroeconomic News (5)

Future pensioners to receive RON 7.3 billion in 2018 

The mandatory private pension accounts of almost 7 million contributors will receive an additional RON 7.3 billion next year from the public pensions budget. The amount is only 1.7% higher compared to this year, following the reduction of the pension contribution from 5.1% to 3.75% in November. The initial legislation regarding the private pension funds stipulated that the contribution was supposed to reach 6% this year.


Public investment to reach 4.2% of GDP next year 

Public investment will account for 4.2% of the GDP next year, based on the draft state budget, and Romania will undergo an "economic boom", according to Deputy Prime Minister Paul Stanescu, who is also the Minister of Regional Development. "We must admit that the situation was slightly more difficult this year because, it's true that the Payroll Law led to an increase in salaries and the amount was significant, but I am certain that Romania would experience an economic boom in 2018," said Stanescu.


Romanian tourists spend EUR 9.4 million during December 1 mini-holiday 

More than 88,000 Romanian tourists chose domestic destinations for their December 1 mini-holiday. They spent a combined EUR 9.4 million on room and board, according to a survey from the Romanian Tourism Employers Federation (FPTR).


Romania was sixth biggest cereals producer in EU 

The European Union reported a total harvest of 301.8 million tons of cereals (including rice) for 2016, the second consecutive year of decline. The Eurostat report released last week showed a 4.3% drop compared to the previous year. However, last year's production is 2.6% above the 2000-2015 average. Romania was the sixth biggest cereals producer in EU and the aggregated value of the national output was up 4.7% last year.


Cabinet sees GDP growing 5.5% next year 

The Cabinet expects the GDP to grow 5.5% next year, to RON 907.85 billion, according to the draft state budget for 2018 published by the Ministry of Finance. The new figure is lower than the National Forecast Commission's (CNP) 6.1% estimate for this year. In early November, CNP revised upwards its estimates for the national economy's performance in 2017.


Financial News (3)

Eastern European banks make progress 

The solid progress in lending and the ongoing reduction of NPL portfolios have helped improve the outlook of banks operating in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe, while also boosting expectations of selective expansion, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Vienna Initiative. The report pointed to an increase in the demand for loans and a relaxation of borrowing terms between April and September of this year.


Piraeus Bank posts Q3 loss 

Piraeus Bank, the biggest banking group in Greece, posted a loss for the third quarter of this year, following an increase in the provisions set up for bad loans. The Greek banks went into the financial crisis of 2008 with EUR 14.5 billion worth of bad loans, approximately 5.5% of their portfolios. Last year, the value of bad loans jumped to EUR 106.9 billion and the banks negotiated with the regulatory authorities ambitious targets for bringing the figure down to EUR 66.7 billion by 2019.


Banca Transilvania's plans 

Banca Transilvania announced on Friday the signing of the acquisition contract for Bancpost, the ninth biggest player of the national market. The transaction will boost Banca Transilvania's assets and revenues by more than 15%, plus EUR 50 million in earnings. Horia Ciorcila, president of Banca Transilvania and the biggest individual shareholder, said the bank had sought the acquisition deal because Bancpost is a good, clean and restructured bank, which enjoys the confidence of its clients.


Investment News (1)

Rockwool invests EUR 50 million in mineral wool factory 

The Rockwool group announced it would invest EUR 50 million in a mineral wool factory that would create 150 direct jobs and 300 indirect jobs in services and logistics. This is Rockwool's first investment project in Romania and one of the biggest in the field of construction materials. The factory will be located in Aricestii Rahtivani, close to the city of Ploiesti, Prahova county.


Politics (2)

Firea refuses to back down 

Gabriela Firea told Antena 3 on Sunday that she thinks Prime Minister Mihai Tudose wants to take control of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The Mayor of Bucharest added that she has no intention of running for party leader because she wants a second term in the city. PM Tudose criticized publicly Firea's decision to organize a Christmas Fair in the Victoriei Square, where anti-government protests had been held.


Codrin Stefanescu announced PSD rally 

Codrin Stefanescu, deputy secretary general of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced on Sunday evening that the PSD would organize a rally against the parallel state. Stefanescu added that the issue would be discussed on Monday with the other heads of party organizations in order to decide when the rally should take place.