Daily Newsletter - 6 May 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

Romanian economy up 25%

Romania's GDP amounted to RON 949.6 billion in 2018, up 25% compared to 2016, according to World Bank data. The GDP per capita was USD 22,370 in 2016, up almost USD 2,000 from 2015.


Managers expect price hikes in construction and retail

The managers of Romanian companies are expecting construction and retail prices to increase by June, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS). Managers also expect activity to pick up in these sectors.


Number of new foreign capital companies up 9.1%

The number of newly established companies controlled by foreign interests reached 1,496 in the first quarter of this year, up 9.1% on an annual basis, according to data centralized by the National Office of the Trade Registry (ONRC). The 1,496 new companies had USD 3.94 million in subscribed capital.


Romania became gas and electricity importer

Romania imported increasing quantities of natural gas and electricity in the second half of 2018, as well as the first quarter of 2019, according to data released by the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) and OMV Petrom. In January, natural gas imports increased by almost 55%, compared to the corresponding month of 2018, surging from 2.74 million MWh to 4.26 million MWh.


Financial News (5)

BRD increases mortgage interest rates

Despite the increase in interest rates, the new IRCC reference index has managed to lower the interest rates paid by local debtors. Banca Transilvania, BRD or Banca Comerciala Romana, have adjusted their margins upwards to offset the lower IRCC level compared to ROBOR. Banca Transilvania added 0.25 pp to its standard mortgages, thus pushing the fixed rate to 4%.


CEC Bank lowers consumer loan rates

"All clients with outstanding loans who apply for replacing the ROBOR index with the new IRCC index, will be switched to the new index without any increase in the rate, which should lead to a reduction in installments upon conversion. The reduction will be even bigger for personal needs loans," said Bogdan Neacsu, First Vice-President of CEC Bank.


Erste reports 12% increase in Q1 earnings

Erste Group, the majority shareholder of BCR, reported EUR 377 million in revenues for the first three months of this year, up more than 12% from the corresponding quarter of 2018. The net revenue from interest reached EUR 1.1 billion, up 7.2%.


MFP looks into extending IRCC to all state guaranteed loans

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) announced on Friday that it would amend the regulations of government programs featuring state guarantees in order to clarify the implementation of Decree 19 stipulations. This will allow the government to extend the new reference rate - IRCC - to all state guaranteed loans, including Prima Casa.


Teodorovici: We'll unveil a series of fiscal amnesty laws for companies

The Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, announced on Friday that the Cabinet is working on a "package of measures" offering a fiscal amnesty to both state-owned and private companies. Teodorovici said a fiscal amnesty for private individuals who owe money to the state budget has not been discussed yet.


Investment News (1)

Minister of Transport inspects DN57

The Minister of Transport, Razvan Cuc, was in Oravita in Saturday to inspect the construction of DN57 Oravita-Moravita. "Work began in April. The crews are currently building the structure of the national road so that it will increase the carrying capacity. They're doing a lot of work, good quality and, very importantly, it's all done by us. As I said, the money comes from the state budget, so there will be no problems with the allocation of funds. It is very important for the company, through the Regional Directorate, to work non-stop because, as I promised, I will be visiting the site. This visit was announced, but I will soon make an unannounced visit and I want to see that the work is good quality and done quickly. The involvement is massive and the results are obvious, especially when this involvement comes from the county MPs," said Minister Razvan Cuc.


Politics (2)

PSD seen as Eurosceptic party

France-Presse included the Social Democratic Party (PSD) among the Eurosceptic forces in an analysis of the main parties that will get seats in the future European Parliament through an anti-EU rhetoric. These Eurosceptic forces, which are very diverse, play important roles in many European countries, AFP notes, adding that this Euroscepticism does not always correspond to classical political positions.


Dancila says cabinet reshuffling takes backseat

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Sunday that the National Executive Committee (CEx) had not discussed a cabinet reshuffling because the upcoming European Parliament election is far more important right now.


Social (1)

Unemployment rate was 3.8% in March

The national unemployment rate was 3.8% in March, one of the lowest figures in the European Union, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). By comparison, the average EU unemployment rate was 6.4%. The number of unemployed estimated for March by the INS was 345,000, down on both a monthly and annual basis.