Daily Newsletter - 6 November 2019


Macroeconomic News (2)

What does Romania buy and sell?

The final data published by the National Statistics Institute (INS) show that Romania reached a trade deficit of 7.5% of GDP in 2018, a very high value both in the European context and in terms of macroeconomic balance. With FOB exports of EUR 67.73 billion and CIF imports totaling EUR 82.87 billion, the result was a EUR 15.14 billion shortfall on a GDP worth a total of EUR 202.9 billion.


Finance Minister says deficit to exceed cap

Florin Citu, the new Minister of Finance, is not convinced that the state budget deficit will be kept below the 3% cap this year. At the end of the third quarter, the deficit was already at 2.66% of the GDP. "Our priority is the review, followed by the budget itself. We'll see what's in there and then I will be able to give you more details. The number of ministries will drop, this is where everything starts," said Citu upon taking office.


Financial News (4)

Banca Transilvania and ING hired more staff

In the past decade, a third of all bank branch offices in Romania were closed, while a quarter of all banking employees were laid off. Banca Transilvania, which became leader of the national market after the acquisition of Volksbank and Bancpost, has the highest average number of employees, as well as the highest personnel spending.


Daniel Daianu: Cryptocurrencies are part of the campaign to disband central banks

Cryptocurrencies "are part of the logic of those who think parallel markets should exist, while central banks should close," according to Daniel Daianu's speech to the Academy. "Some people think this way: the financial crisis has obliterated the reputations of governments and some central banks, big central banks, and we need other currencies, parallel flows, non-hierarchical structures," noted Daianu.


Orban cabinet to increase Second Pillar contribution

The Ministry of Labor wants to increase the contribution to the Second Pillar of the pension system (mandatory private pension funds), but the decision will not affect contributions to the First Pillar, according to incoming Minister Violeta Alexandru.


OTP Bank Romania gets award

OTP Bank Romania won the Retail Product of the Year at the Financial Leaders' Hall of Fame for its mortgage loan. Roxana Hidan, Deputy CEO of OTP Bank Romania's retail division, said the bank's responsibility is to identify the most effective lending solutions.


Investment News (1)

Google to open Bucharest research center

Google is planning to open a research center in Bucharest, with an initial staff of at least 50 employees, according to real estate market information. The company is considering renting 1,000 sqm of office space in the Unirii View building, off Unirii Square.


Legislative News (1)

Hope for unlicensed drivers

The bill extending the deadline given to Uber, Bolt, Yango and Clever Go drivers to obtain transport licenses will be sent to the president for promulgation this week. The deadline will be extended from November 1, 2019, to February 1, 2020.


Politics (2)

Dancila criticized President Iohannis for attending ceremonies

Viorica Dancila, leader and presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), criticized President Iohannis for attending the assumption of office duties by the ministers of justice and internal affairs, Catalin Predoiu and Marcel Vela. Dancila said the impartiality of the judiciary can no longer be guaranteed because of the president's actions.


President Iohannis attended handover of four crucial ministries

President Klaus Iohannis attended on Tuesday the token ceremonies held by four crucial ministers upon taking their offices: Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Defense and Justice. The president delivered a speech at every ceremony, predictably blasting the Social Democratic governments and highlighting the challenges facing the new ministers.


Social (2)

Fresh mining strike

Almost 400 employees from the Praid and Targu Ocna salt mines went on strike in protest against the decision to slash their holiday vouchers. The salt mines are closed, along with the tie-in tourism services provided at the sites. Kelemen Jozsef, the labor leader at the Praid Salt Mine, said the protest was launched spontaneously by around 150 employees.


Two out of three Romanians willing to start from scratch

66.8% of Romanians are willing to make a total change in their careers and opt for professional retraining, with seven out of ten dedicating significant time to learning in order to sharpen their skills and cope with labor market challenges, such as technological progress and globalization.