News

Daily Newsletter - 6 September 2022

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (4)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
IMF proposes that each country should have a different debt reduction path
The European Union should set up a fiscal capacity to pay for EU public goods, link the pace of debt cuts to individual country risk and let independent fiscal councils play a bigger role in policy, the International Monetary Fund indicated in a report published on Monday, 5 September 2022. The IMF proposal is timed to coincide with the start of discussions among EU finance ministers later this week on how to adapt the EU fiscal framework to the new reality of huge public debt and large investment needs to limit climate change.
Government has borrowed a record amount for the domestic government bonds market
The government borrowed RON 11.84 billion in August through the sale of government securities to banks and investors, a record amount for the domestic market, above the previous peak of RON 9.1 billion reached in June 2020. While in June 2020 the state borrowed at an interest rate of 3-4% per year, in August 2022, the interest grew to 7-8% per year. The loans contracted in August included, the Government’s total borrowing from the external market as well as from the domestic market (investors and the population), reached RON 79.9 billion.
Retail trade turnover grew by 4.8% as a gross series in the first seven months of 2022
Retail trade turnover (except for trade in motor vehicles and motorcycles) grew by 4.8% as a gross series and by 6.2% as working-day and seasonally adjusted series in the first seven months of 2022, compared to the similar period of 2021, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Monday, 5 September. According to official statistics, within the increase in turnover as a gross series, retail trade in motor fuels in specialized stores grew by 8.5%, sales of non-food products were up 5.2%, and sales of food products, beverages and tobacco rose by 2.2% during the period 1 January - 31 July 2022.
Financial 
NBR put into circulation a silver coin to mark 150 years since the birth of painter Gheorghe Petrașcu
On Monday, 5 September 2022, the National Bank of Romania put into circulation for numismatic purposes a silver coin to mark 150 years since the birth of painter Gheorghe Petrașcu. The obverse of the coin presents a detail from a painting by Gheorghe Petrașcu, the inscription "ROMANIA", the face value "10 LEI", the year of issue "2022" and the coat of arms of Romania. The reverse of the coin contains painter Gheorghe Petrașcu’s portrait and the inscription "150 DE ANI DE LA NASTERE" overlapping a painting palette, his name and his birth and death years "1872-1949".
FGA announces it made RON 385 million payments to City’s insurance creditors
The Insured Guarantee Fund (FGA) announced on Monday, 5 September that it had approved 40,305 payment requests for City’s insurance creditors by 31 August 2022, and that payments made by the Fund to date totaled approximately RON 385 million. The total number of registered requests is approximately 248,000. With 1.15 million mandatory civil liability car insurance (RCA) policies in force at the end of 2021, of which 500,000 automatically terminated on 11 May, 16,305 guarantee policies still in force today corresponding to more than 7,000 policyholders, institutions and other legal entities, as well as more than 10,000 national and international disputes, City Insurance’s bankruptcy is the largest in recent history.
Ministry of Finance borrowed RON 530 million from banks on Monday, 5 September
The Ministry of Finance (MF) borrowed RON 530 million from banks on Monday, 5 September, through two government securities issues, according to data provided by the National Bank of Romania (NBR). The Finance Ministry thus raised RON 300 million through an issue of benchmark government bonds with 145-month maturity, at an average yield of 8.02%, and RON 230 million through another issue of bonds with 30-month maturity, at a 7.82% yield. Two additional auctions are scheduled for Tuesday, through which the government plans to attract another RON 90 million at the yields set for the bonds on Monday.
Investment 
Manufacturer Elis Pavaje in Alba invests EUR 120,000 in a photovoltaic panel system
Restart Energy, one of the largest independent electrical power suppliers on the local market, has announced the signing of a EUR 120,000 contract with paving manufacturer Elis Pavaje, owned by the Goţa family, for the installation of 320 photovoltaic panels on the roof of its plant in Petrești, Alba County. The project covers about 10% of the company’s energy needs and allows reducing the carbon footprint by 48 tons and radioactive waste by 0.5 kg per year, according to data provided by the two companies’ representatives.
Proleasing Motors becomes energy producer following EUR 170,000 investments in solar panels
Proleasing Motors, an authorized distributor for BMW, Ford and Hyundai brands, has announced that it has invested EUR 170,000 for the installation of non-polluting solutions based on solar energy panels at its units in Prahova, Buzău and Dâmbovița. The project, which has a total installed capacity of 250 kWp, is expected to produce an average annual quantity of energy of 310 MWh and thus contribute to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400 tons per year.
3,000 children are expected monthly at Destiny Park, the first educational theme park for children
Destiny Park, an educational theme park for children, located near Băneasa Shopping City retail center, following an approximately RON 25 million investment, could attract more than 3,000 children and their families every month. The park spreads on about 5,000 square meters and offers 43 role play experiences in a variety of fields including medicine, food industry, agriculture, energy industry, automotive, sport and IT.
E.ON Romania made RON 644 million investments
In 2021, E.ON companies in Romania supported the local economy through collaborations with more than 900 direct suppliers and about 2,300 product suppliers and service providers along the entire supply chain. The value of payments made to them was approximately RON 1 billion, according to E.ON’s Sustainability Report. The amount does not include the value of electricity and natural gas purchases for around 3.4 million customers in Romania. In 2021, 56% of new suppliers were also selected based on environmental criteria, up by 5% against the previous year.
Legislative 
USR has once more urged Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu to withdraw the Education Laws
Save Romania Union (USR) has once more called on Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu to urgently withdraw the two proposals to amend the Education Laws, which were made with the sole purpose of "protecting the plagiarist Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă and further increasing the politicization of Education and central political control over it". USR has transmitted that it cannot accept that the future of children in this country should be pawned because of a minister whose only aim, over the years, has been to shield plagiarist prime ministers from responsibility for intellectual theft and to disrupt the educational system through harmful changes that take Romania back to the past and do nothing to transform it into an "educated Romania".
PNL spokesman Ionuț Stroe explained the changes in the new draft OUG on energy
Ionuț Stroe, the spokesperson of the National Liberal Party (PNL), has explained that the new Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) regarding the energy sector imposes a maximum settlement threshold, indicating that there are suspicious cases of successive transactions on the energy market that increase the price. The government has approved measures to cap electricity and gas prices until 1 September 2023, as well as the solidarity tax to be paid by energy companies.
Energy suppliers say new OUG 119/2022 was drawn up without a real consultation of the market
The representatives of the Association of Energy Suppliers in Romania (AFEER) have warned that the new Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 119/2022, meant to regulate the energy market, was drawn up in great haste, without a real consultation of participants in the sector. In the same context, energy suppliers in Romania have urged authorities to review the Ordinance, where there are ambiguities, and, through consultations with stakeholders, to find those solutions that will ensure the proper functioning of the energy market, of operators and the much needed support to consumers in this period.
European News 
EU Parliament fights over sustainability criteria for insurance sector
In attempts to reach a common position on the review of prudential regulation for the European insurance sector, MEPs expressed starkly diverging opinions on whether and how to account for climate risks in the regulation. The review of the Solvency 2 prudential regulation was proposed by the EU Commission in September 2021 to update the capital requirements for insurance companies to new economic circumstances. While EU member states already agreed on a common position regarding this regulation, the European Parliament is still far from a common position.
Social 
The educational system is not adapted to the jobs of the future, according to a survey
Nearly 72% of the students surveyed by the INACO Association believe that the educational system is not adapted to the jobs of the future and does not develop the skills needed for them. Moreover, more than half of them, 62.8%, do not see themselves doing the jobs of the future and consider that the main problems are the curriculum and the quality of the information they receive in school. Nearly 15% believe that school has integrated digital education very well, while 70% believe they have not acquired the digital skills needed for the future labor market. Few students (13.3%), however, blame poor teacher training.
Environment Minister announced changes in the financing of the Local Rabla car scrapping program
Environment Minister Tanczos Barna has announced changes in the financing of the Local Rabla car scrapping program, carried out by the Environmental Fund Administration (AFM), namely an increase in the financial contribution borne by the AFM in favor of local budgets. As a result, city halls/town halls/mayor’s offices would only have to cover 20-25% of the RON 3,000 bonus granted for scrapping an old car and not half, as initially proposed. The minister has admitted that he is considering these changes after the topic of mayor’s offices/city halls/town halls’ contribution to the implementation of this program had been debated "in a higher tone of voice" during the meeting of the leadership of the Association of Municipalities in Romania, held at the end of last week in Cluj Napoca.