Retail sales in the European Union and the euro area fell above
expectations in March compared to February, mainly due to lower fuel
sales, according to data published by Eurostat yesterday. The data
indicate that month-on-month retail sales decreased by 0.4% in the euro
area and by 0.2% in the European Union. On the other hand, retail sales
in Romania grew by 0.4%, following a 0.6% advance recorded in February.
Economists interviewed by The Wall Street Journal had estimated a 0.1%
increase in retail sales in the euro area in March, after a 0.4%
advance in February.
Economic sentiment in Romania grew in April, for the second month in a
row, while the one in the euro area kept falling, amid the war in
Ukraine, according to the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) published
by the European Commission on a monthly basis. The European Executive’s
economic sentiment indicator for Romania thus stood at 104.3 points in
April, above ESI’s long-term average (100) and up by 0.6 points against
the 103.7 point value recorded in March. ESI stood at 102.5 points and
102.9 points respectively in February and January.
Government spokesperson Dan Cărbunaru stated on Wednesday that the
Romanian Government remained committed to euro area accession, but its
efforts currently focused on economic and social support measures
following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and on reducing the
consequences generated by the military conflict in Ukraine. On
Wednesday, the Government approved the 2022-2025 Convergence Program,
which is based on the provisions of the 2022-2024 Fiscal-Budget
Strategy and the 2022-2025 medium-term macroeconomic forecast.
Ioana Gorgăneanu has been appointed Head of Marketing and Communication
Mastercard for Romania, Croatia, Israel and the Balkans. She will thus
supervise the company’s marketing operations in Croatia, Romania,
Israel, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania
and Kosovo, Mastercard representatives reported on Wednesday. According
to them, Ioana Gorgăneanu is to coordinate Mastercard’s local and
regional initiatives, built in line with the company’s vision, which
combines values such as a world beyond cash, financial inclusion and
education, innovation, secure digital payments and interconnectivity.
The merger between EximBank, a bank owned by the Romanian state through
the Ministry of Finance, and Banca Românească will take effect from a
legal, accounting and tax point of view starting from 31 December 2022,
and Banca Românească "will cease to exist as of the effective date of
the merger, which will result in the dissolution without liquidation of
the absorbed company and the universal transfer of all its assets to
EximBank", according to the draft merger by absorption between the two
banks. Basically, the merger between the two banks is carried out
through Banca Românească’s absorption by EximBank. As a result, the
number of banks in the Romanian banking system will decrease to 33.
Raiffeisen Bank obtained a RON 218 million net profit in Q1 of 2022, up
by 10% year-on-year. The increase in profit was generated by the
growing volume of transactions made by both individual and corporate
clients, while maintaining the bank’s risk profile at a very good
level, according to the information provided by the bank. The bank’s
operating income stood at RON 692 million on 31 March 2022, 12% higher
than in the first quarter of the previous year. Interest income grew by
16%, supported by higher loan volumes, but also by an upward trend for
interest rates on the market.
Dutch company Envipco has finalized an over EUR 2 million investment in
a factory where equipment for the selective collection of beverage
packaging will be manufactured, built in the city of Sebeș, Alba
County. The factory has a 2,870 square meter production area, plus 520
square meters of office spaces. The production capacity of the unit in
Sebeș is 6,000 RVMs (Reverse Vending Machines) in 2022 and will reach
15,000 RVMs in 2023.
Oradea City Hall has an over EUR 135.8 million ongoing investment,
financed from European funds, for the construction of an infectious and
lung diseases hospital, with a maximum capacity of 326 beds. The total
area of the project is 25,000 square meters, the hospital footprint is
10,516 square meters and the developed area is 40,334 square meters.
The new hospital will be built on a 2.5 hectare land on Vlădeasa Street
and will have four floors.
Distribuție Energie Electrică România, part of the Electrica Group,
plans to invest RON 689 million in 2022 in the modernization and
development of the electrical power distribution system, according to a
press release issued by the company. The main directions target
continuity and quality parameters in electricity supply, energy
efficiency and reduction of network losses; operational efficiency,
hence the reduction of maintenance costs. According to the cited
source, the company’s medium-term plans include further modernization
of the network infrastructure, accelerated digitalization, the
development of alternative channels for interactions with users, as
well as creating a modern working environment for employees, by
implementing the Digital Distribution concept.
Bosch recorded a significant increase in sales and profit in 2021 tax
year, despite the unfavorable context, according to a press release
issued by the company. Sales revenues generated by the technology and
services provider grew by 10.1%, to EUR 78.7 billion, and its operating
profit (EBIT from operations) was up more than 50%, to EUR 3.2 billion.
Moreover, Bosch will invest about EUR 3 billion within the next three
years in climate-neutral technologies such as electrification and
The draft law on the studying of the subject on the 1989 Revolution,
initiated by Liberal MP Marilen Gabriel Pirtea, was adopted with a
final vote in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, 4 May. The
legislative proposal provides for the subject <<History of the
1989 Revolution and the change of regime in Romania>> to be
included into the high-school curriculum. The draft law received the
necessary votes for adoption (215 votes in favor of the final form of
the draft law, 17 votes against it and 44 abstentions) and the new law
will now be sent to the Senate.
The Government has approved a draft law on the prudential supervision
of financial services and investment companies, which separates,
between the National Bank of Romania and the Financial Supervisory
Authority, the authorization, regulation and supervision of credit
institutions that are part of large investment firms according to the
activities they carry out. According to a press release issued by the
Executive, the normative act transposes into the national legislation
several European directives in the field of prudential supervision of
financial investment services providers (SSIF) and amends Government
Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 99/2006 on credit institutions and capital
The Government has adopted, upon the Energy Ministry’s proposal, the
Emergency Ordinance establishing the institutional and financial
framework for the implementation and management of funds allocated to
Romania from the Modernization Fund, as well as amending and completing
certain normative acts. The Modernization Fund available to Romania is
worth over EUR 13 billion for the period 2021-2030, based on estimates
of the price of greenhouse gas emission certificates.
The Legislative Council has issued an opinion on the draft Offshore
Law, the deadline for submitting amendments is 11 May and the law will
subsequently get to the relevant committee, Energy Minister Virgil
Popescu stated during the briefing at the end of the Government meeting
on Wednesday. When asked about Black Sea Oil&Gas representatives’
discontentment with the draft law, the minister said he was convinced
the US company would be extracting gas from the Black Sea in the second
half of the year.
The Romanian cloud project is the centerpiece of the government’s
digitalization plan, set to attract €500 million from the EU and bring
the country closer to Europe’s e-governance targets. However, the
proposal has so far mostly succeeded in stirring up controversy. The
first steps taken by the Romanian authorities to legislate the
government cloud have provoked negative reactions from representatives
of the civil society and even from some state institutions that are
supposed to join the said cloud. In line with Europe’s e-governance
targets, Bucharest committed to universal access to public services
online. Moreover, there would be an online history of the citizens’
interactions with the state, and personal data and documents would be
protected by high-performance cybersecurity systems.
Employers can increase the basic gross minimum wage by RON 200 starting
from 1 June 2022, an amount which no taxes and no social security
contributions will be paid for, according to a draft ordinance put up
for public consultation on the Finance Ministry’s website. The Ministry
of Finance has drawn up the normative act needed to implement the
measure adopted under the governmental program "Support for Romania –
RON 200 extra to minimum wage (voluntary tax-free increase)".
The draft law granting parents days off to supervise their children
when teaching activities with physical attendance in schools are
suspended due to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was adopted
during the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary session on Wednesday. The draft
law regulates the approving of Government Emergency Ordinance 110/2021.
These provisions shall apply to parents whose jobs do not allow them to
work from home or do teleworking.
About 70% of Romanians are unaware of the financial consequences that
their death, illness or being involved in an accident could have,
according to the latest Aegon survey, conducted together with Reveal
Marketing this year. According to the cited source, only 40% of
Romanians already have a financial plan in case of illness or accident.
Of the analyzed segments, 47% of modern families said they had such a
plan in place, while only 34% of traditional families have a financial
back-up plan in case of illnesses or accidents.