Romanian investors increasingly fear inflation and the state of national economy, according to the latest eToro Retail Investor Beat survey, which analyzed the preferences of individual investors. Given the political instability and the pandemic crisis, it is not surprising that a huge percentage of 70% of the interviewed Romanian investors are not confident about the evolution of Romanian economy, marking a 12% increase in distrust compared to three months ago. Moreover, fewer investors are willing to increase their investments. Nonetheless, Romanian investors are quite interested in cryptocurrencies, which can be seen as a protection against inflation.
Unemployment rate decreased by 0.2% in September 2021 compared to the previous month, to 5%, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Wednesday, 3 November. The number of unemployed (aged 15-74) estimated for September 2021 was 416,000 people, down from the previous month (428,000 people).
The arrears of the general consolidated budget decreased by 0.05% in September 2021, compared to the previous month, to RON 232.52 million, from RON 232.62 million, according to the data published on the Ministry of Finance (MoF)’s website. Over 90-day arrears grew by 5.9%, from RON 72.2 million to RON 76.5 million, while arrears exceeding 120 days were down 0.7%, from RON 101.2 million in August, to RON 100.5 million in September. Furthermore, over 360-day arrears dropped from RON 59.2 million to RON 55.5 million (-6.72%). According to the cited source, local budgets’ arrears decreased by 0.2%, from RON 214.33 million in August to RON 213.89 million in September.
If they lost their main source of income, 22% of respondents in Romania expect their personal savings or financial reserves to be enough for less than three months, according to an online IPSOS MORI survey commissioned by the British group International Personal Finance. On the other hand, almost a quarter (24%) do not have such reserves, and only 12% of them stated that the current financial reserve would be enough for more than 12 months.
On Wednesday, 3 November 2021, Revolut launched, for clients in Romania, the Customized Card option, which also became available for users in the European Union, Great Britain and Switzerland. The new option allows Revolut clients to create a customized design that will be printed monochrome on the chosen card, according to a press release. The cited source indicates that the cards can be customized with images, texts, emojis, and hand sketches. Revolut has thus become the first player in the industry to offer clients the opportunity to "draw" their cards.
ING Bank has introduced the possibility of credit cards being issued online directly, through Home’Bank. The cards can be used right away for making payments if the bank’s clients opt for the virtual card, according to data sent by ING Bank Romania’s representatives. The virtual version can be used for online shopping or can be enrolled into ING Pay, Google Pay or Apple Pay for POS payments. Moreover, clients can also opt for the plastic card, depending on their needs.
Entrepreneurs who choose Banca Transilvania can open 100% online accounts, without needing company documents, based on their identity document alone. The facility is available for SRL, SRL-D and PFA entities registered with the Trade Register Office, with an associate and sole administrator, resident in Romania, according to a press release. According to the aforementioned source, the 100% online account without company documents is part of the bank’s "SME to Go" offer, which includes online solutions for entrepreneurs - from opening an account, applying for a loan, access to information about account balances, interests or seized accounts, to the possibility to manage their business cards.
Raiffeisen Bank recorded a net profit of RON 645 million in the first nine months of the year, up by 11% compared to the similar period of 2020, and a 15% year-on-year increase in total assets, to RON 56.8 billion, at the end of September, according to the financial report published on Wednesday. Moreover, operating revenues and operating expenses remained at about the same level as the one recorded in 2020. Furthermore, the volume of transactions grew in 2021, with revenues from fees having returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Pink Post, a postal services provider controlled by Octavian Radu, has purchased a first tranche of ten electric vehicles worth EUR 400,000 for operations in Bucharest, according to a press release of the company. Apart from this investment, Pink Post has also installed four charging stations for electric cars. Pink Post obtained a RON 91 million turnover in 2020, up by 6% year-on-year. Moreover, the postal services company also recorded 770 million envelopes delivered between 2010 and 2020 and 1 billion addressed and unaddressed advertising materials.
Sanamed Medical Clinic in Bucharest is to invest EUR 4 million for the development of a new concept of multidisciplinary approach to chronic patients - One-Stop-Shop: complex investigations, diagnosis and treatment in one location, according to a press release. According to the cited source, Sanamed offers a wide range of medical services: outpatient examinations for most medical specialties, from cardiology or pulmonology, to endocrinology and nephrology, laboratory tests such as biochemistry, hematology, coagulation, immunology and many others, but also imaging investigations using latest generation equipment, such as MRI, CT, OCT, DEXA, Ultrasound and Eco-Doppler.
Electrica (stock exchange symbol EL), one of the main players on the electricity distribution and supply market in Romania, has signed a RON 750 million financing agreement with Erste Group Bank and Raiffeisen Bank Romania, according to a company announcement. Electrica will use the approximately EUR 150 million loan to finance the implementation of the group’s strategy for the period 2019-2023, which aims to expand the electrical power value chain, especially in terms of electricity production, with bigger emphasis placed on production from renewable sources and value-added services.
German automotive group Volkswagen has decided to expand its green strategy by investing in an energy transformation fund supported by the European Union, aimed at jointly supporting technology companies activating in the energy transformation sector. The largest European carmaker, which has pledged to reach climate neutrality by 2050, announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a strategic partnership with EIT InnoEnergy and would become a shareholder in the EU-backed fund. This decision is in line with other measures taken by Volkswagen, which, in September, unveiled its own venture capital fund, with EUR 300 million resources, which will invest in decarbonization projects and start-ups in this field.
The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) indicated, in a press release, that the Chamber of Deputies, as the decision-making body, had adopted, during Wednesday’s plenary session, the draft law approving the Emergency Ordinance drawn up by Development Minister Cseke Attila, which solves the problem of growing prices of building materials on a long term. UDMR deputies’ leader Csoma Botond said that, in the absence of such a measure, many works financed from public money would have been suspended due to the rising prices of building materials.
US President Joe Biden and his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, present at the UN climate change summit in Glasgow, announced their plans to build a small modular reactor (SMR) plant in Romania, the first such unit in Romania, but also in Europe. The plant will be built in partnership with US NuScale Power and will bring "the latest civil nuclear technology to an extremely important part of Europe", according to a press release issued by the White House.
Romanians will spend, on average, RON 910 for Christmas presents this year, 17% less than in 2020, according to a study conducted by Compari.ro, which analyzes the Christmas presents purchase plans and habits of the adult population in Romania for the seventh consecutive year. In the economic context generated by the pandemic situation, Romanians plan to buy gifts for only five people, on average, with a smaller budget than last year, and online shopping will be in the spotlight this year as well. According to the study, the growing product shortage and the constant increase in prices could be a challenge for buyers this year.
The Ministry of Health has distributed a new tranche of Remdesivir to healthcare units treating patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, the tranche includes 7,250 vials of Remdesivir of 100 mg, which will get to 96 hospitals in the entire country to treat patients with moderate forms of the disease. The medicine distribution criteria took into account the minimum number of vials necessary per treated patient and the number of hospitalized and confirmed patients in hospital departments and intensive care units who require administration, according to the decisions of the Health Ministry’s specialized committee.