Daily Newsletter - 7 May 2019


Macroeconomic News (5)

Re-registrations and new car sales at new high

The first quarter of 2019 brought a significant increase of the automotive market, influencing the sales of both new and used cars. New car sales jumped 25% from the corresponding quarter of 2018, reaching a ten-year high, according to an analysis based on DRPCIV data.


CNSP sees rising prices, exchange rates and unemployment

The National Strategy and Forecast Commission (CNSP) has maintained the economic growth estimate of 5.5% for this year, but the nominal GDP in the national currency was adjusted upwards, from RON 1.022 billion to RON 1.031 billion, according to a document published on the CNSP website. The Commission also expects an increase in prices compared with the previous period, while the budget deficit will fall in terms of GDP percentage.


Hotels report 5.8% increase in arrivals

The hospitality sector reported a 5.8% increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding period of 2018. Of the 2.32 million tourists who checked into local hospitality services providers, 19.2% were foreign tourists, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Monday.


MFP to borrow RON 4 billion this month

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) has scheduled loans worth a total of RON 4.08 billion for this month. The bulk of the money, RON 3.2 billion, will be borrowed by reopening existing bond issues, while RON 400 million will be obtained through issues of new T-bills.


Romanian retail sector up

The retail sectors of Ireland and Romania reported the biggest gains in the European Union for March, compared to the corresponding month of 2018, according to data released by Eurostat on Monday. The eurozone retail sector grew 1.9%, while the wider EU sector jumped 2.9%.


Financial News (3)

Seven banks lowered nominal interest rates for RON-denominated mortgages

The seven largest banks of the national market have slashed the nominal interest rates by one percentage point for standard RON-denominated mortgages after the coming into force of the new reference index: IRCC. Some banks, such as Banca Transilvania, BRD or Banca Comerciala Romana, have adjusted their margins upwards to offset the lower IRCC level compared to ROBOR, while other banks, including CEC, Raiffeisen, UniCredit and ING, have decided not to increase the fixed margin added to the reference rate, at least for the time being.


MFP to extend IRCC to other loans

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) has released for public debate the draft order extending the use of the new reference interest index (IRCC) to the Prima Casa, Prima Masina and Invest In Yourself programs. After BNR published the first IRCC figure last week, MFP announced that the IRCC also applies to loans granted under government programs, although it had no legal basis for that statement.


CC head rejects inquiry conclusions

Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Competition Council, has written to Senate President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu to reject the conclusions of the Economy Commission's inquiry into the results of the Competition Council's 2008 investigation of possible bank collusion to manipulate the ROBOR rate. The Commission's report urged President Iohannis to fire Chiritoiu.


Investment News (1)

Investment funds complain of national legislation

Romania's current legislation acts as a check on investment because it fails to keep up with the technology, according to Dragos Manolescu, Deputy CEO of OTP Asset Management. "The current legislation is a hindrance, it is a measure that prevents you from investing, from accessing investment funds, it does not encourage you. Somehow we ended up with over-regulation and we did not adapt to the current technology," said Manolescu.


Legislative News (1)

Chamber to vote on bill eliminating permit requirements for solar panels

Private individuals who want to install solar panels at home could soon be rid of the need to secure permits if the Chamber of Deputies passes a bill to this effect tomorrow. The bill is designed to encourage the use of solar panels, with or without the RON 20,000 state subsidy.


Politics (1)

EPP leaders invited to PNL meeting

Ludovic Orban, leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), announced a meeting of the Executive Bureau in Sibiu, on Wednesday. A number of leaders of the European People's Party were invited to attend, along with President Klaus Iohannis.