Daily Newsletter - 5 March 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

2018-2019 is hardest year for Romanian wheat

The 2018-2019 agricultural year had a slow start, while last year's production records seem like a distant dream. In 2018, Romania reported produced 10.2 million tons of wheat, up 200,000 tons from the previous year. The most productive counties were Timis (6,200 kg per hectare), Arad (6,100 kg/h) and Bihor (6,050 kg/h).


French support for Romania's OECD accession

France has pledged to support Romania's accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance. A successful accession process would increase international confidence in the Romanian economy, which would be recognized as a fully functional market economy.


Country ratings - Why is Romania faring worse than its neighbors?

The ratings given to Romania by the three major specialist agencies are the weakest in the region. The cause lies in Romania's large macroeconomic imbalances, but also in the prospects of further deterioration. Ratings essentially assess the ability of a country to pay its debts and, while the other countries in the region have better macroeconomic indicators, Romania's have deteriorated.


Minister Plumb says Romania attracted EUR 8.5 billion in EU funds

Romania's absorption rate for EU funds reached 28% last year, 1 pp below the European average but at the same level as the UK, Poland and Belgium. Romania has attracted European funds through structural programs totaling EUR 8.55 billion under the 2014-2020 budget, and the government is aiming for a total of EUR 12.5 billion by the end of 2019, according to Rovana Plumb, Minister of European Funds.


Financial News (3)

Banca Transilvania to buy back stock

Banca Transilvania informed the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) on Monday evening that it plans to buy back 15 million shares at a minimum price equal to the market price. The maximum price will be RON 4 per share. The buyback period is March 5 to May 30.


Romania pays highest interest rates on long-term loans

Eurostat released data on the long-term interest rate criterion used for accessing the Eurozone (yield of government securities in the secondary market, in gross terms against taxes, with residual maturities of around ten years, as described by the mcby indicator - Maastricht criterion bond yields - standardized for all member countries). The period 2014-2018 shows a problematic trend. Romania is the EU country that pays the highest interest rates on long-term loans last year, about four times the Eurozone average (EA 19), and almost three and a half times the EU average.


First Bank invests EUR 7.5 million in technology

To meet the customers' new preferences and demands, First Bank will invest EUR 7.5 million in technology and will strengthen its internal capacity to generate more efficient, fast and streamlined processes. Investment in digitization aims, among other things, to optimize existing processes and reconfigure analysis and reporting systems. These optimization efforts will reduce the application processing time by about 50% and help the bank respond faster to its customers. The digitization solutions will be tested, analyzed and implemented in the next 20 months.


Investment News (2)

Two brothers invested EUR 700,000 in DIY store

Bogdan (35) and Cristian Giurgescu (33), two brothers who founded a tools and household products retailer 12 years ago, opened a DIY store in the Doraly commercial park, located in Afumati, Ilfov County. The brothers are planning to open 12 stores under the Total brand in the next three years, taking their business to the national level.


Minister of Energy stresses BRUA commitment

"BRUA is an extremely important project for Southeast Europe, a region where the gas transport infrastructure is currently being developed. This gas pipeline will allow the interconnection with neighboring gas systems and thus create energy security. What is being created is a genuine regional energy market, which will also help strengthen the European single market. I believe that the open support of the European Commission should help us, the four states involved in the development of this project, to find a common pace for completing a gas pipeline that is so important for Europe's energy future. Romania is strongly committed to the realization of this project. The work conducted on Romanian territory is on schedule, with some parts of the project being ahead of schedule," said Energy Minister Anton Anton.


Legislative News (2)

Decree 7 amendments released for public debate

The draft amendments to Decree 7 on judiciary laws were released for public debate on Monday. The explanatory material indicates that tensions can be removed by legislative intervention on the stipulations that caused the most concern.


PM Dancila supports Decree 114

Decree 114 introduces a series of measures designed to stimulate economic growth, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila told the Chamber of Deputies on Monday. The PM appeared before the Parliament at the request of the National Liberals (PNL).


Politics (1)

Tariceanu dispels rumors

Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated in a Facebook post that the decision regarding a possible presidential run "is not taken by the propaganda of other states and by the press that engages in such manipulation". Tariceanu noted "a tendency of some factors of foreign influence, outside of consolidated democracies, to get involved in political disputes in Europe and the US".