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Daily Newsletter - 8 March 2021

Summary

FIC Daily Newsletter | 08.03.2021
Macroeconomic (4) || Financial (2) || Investment (3) || Legislative (2) || European News (1) || Social (2)
Retail trade turnover increased by 1.7% in January
Retail trade turnover, the most relevant indicator for the evolution of private consumption, kept growing in January 2021, yet at a decelerating rate of +1.7% compared to January 2020. Sales of non-food products represented the main growth drive, having increased by 5.8% year-on-year in January, according to National Institute of Statistics (INS) data.
Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna announces how the EUR 30 billion from PNRR will be spent
The main directions in the National Recovery and Resilience Program (PNRR), worth EUR 30 billion representing European money, are the construction of hospitals, highways and investments in railway infrastructure modernization, buildings rehabilitation, digitalization, education, renewable energy production and reforestation, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna has explained. In an interview for G4Media.ro he announced that all projects would have to be completed by 2026, otherwise the money would be lost.
Prime Minister Cîţu announces that deficit reduction will be based on digitalization
Reducing the budget deficit towards the target of 3% of GDP could be achieved with the help of digitalization that would increase the level of tax collection, Prime Minister Florin Cîţu stated on Saturday, adding that the Executive did not intend to introduce new taxes, because such a measure would seriously affect economy. Economic crises, both the one in 2008 and the one caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, illustrated the importance of investment programs in economy, Mr. Cîţu added.
Consolidated general budget’s arrears grew by more than 16% in January
Consolidated general budget’s arrears grew by 16.1% in January 2021, from RON 229.68 million in December 2020 to RON 266.66 million, according to data published on the Public Finance Ministry (MFP)’s website. Moreover, arrears corresponding to local budgets were up 16.03%, from RON 206.63 million in December 20202, to RON 239.77 million in January 2021.
Banking system’s profit has increased
Nearly 60% of the total number of credit institutions present on the Romanian market, namely 20 banks recorded a profit in 2020, while 14 incurred losses, according to the National Bank of Romania (NBR) data. The net result of credit institutions that ended the year on profit totaled RON 5.4 billion, while the cumulated net losses of banks to have reported losses for 2020 stood at RON 268.7 million, according to data reported by the central bank.
Over 18,83 million cards had been issued in Romania by the end of December 2020
The total number of cards issued in Romania stood at 18,830,297 at the end of Q4/2020, up by 1.05% year-on-year, according to data centralized by the National Bank of Romania (NBR). The cited source also indicated that, of this total, 14,579,234 (77.42%) were active cards, compared to 14,242,026 at the end of September 2020.
Nuclearelectrica to invest in the construction of reactors 3 and 4 from Cernavoda
Nuclearelectrica (SNN) will invest in the construction of reactors 3 and 4 from Cernavoda provided an agreement is concluded with the Romanian state to establish the financing method and the support mechanisms to be used in carrying out this project, according to a document to be discussed during the General Meeting of the company’s Shareholders, scheduled to take place on 5 April 2021. According to the company, the project’s feasibility study has been finalized, but can only be consulted by shareholders, at the company’s headquarters, after signing a confidentiality agreement.
Etex wants to increase its gypsum plasterboard production capacity in South Eastern Europe
The company Etex Building Performance (former Siniat Romania), part of the Belgian group Etex, wants to increase its gypsum plasterboard production capacity in South Eastern Europe. It thus plans to invest EUR 5-6 million into the coal-fired plant in Rovinari, part of Complexul Energetic Oltenia (Oltenia Energy Company) in order to ensure the necessary raw materials.
CFR to invest in repair works on railway sites in Sibiu and Harghita Counties
"CFR" SA National Railway Company is to invest RON 22.1 million, from budget funds, for repair works on 3 bridges/platforms in Sibiu and Harghita Counties and for repair works on Sibiu train station’s platform, to replace track equipment and extend the pedestrians’ tunnel. The tender participation notice and the corresponding documentation are available in the Electronic Public Procurement System (SEAP).
Draft law capping interest rates charged on mortgage and consumer loans has been rejected
The draft law capping interest rates charged on mortgage and consumer loans was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies. To be more exact, the Draft Law was aimed at completing Government Ordinance no. 13/2011 on the legal remunerative and penalizing interest for monetary obligations, as well as at regulating some financial-fiscal measures in the banking sector and had been adopted by the Senate in February 2018.
Employees in Romania could be allowed to work up to the age of 70
During a press conference held in Botoşani, Labor Minister Raluca Turcan stated that retirement age would not be modified; however, based on a draft normative act, employees would have the opportunity to continue to work after reaching the retirement age, based on a request submitted to their employers. The Minister of Labor pointed out that persons to work in the public sector would not be able to receive both a pension and a salary.
Talks on EU corporate tax transparency law to start ’very soon’
The European Parliament said on Thursday (4 March) it expected negotiations to start “very soon” with Portugal’s EU Presidency on a new EU directive to make multinationals publish information on where they make profits and pay taxes. In its position adopted four years ago, the EU said multinationals’ information should be presented separately and for each tax jurisdiction outside the EU.
Students in 8th and 12th grades will physically go to school in the red scenario as well
The Ministers of Education and of Health have reached an agreement for students in the 8th and 12th grades to physically go to school in the red scenario as well, when the Covid-19 infection rate exceeds 3 per one thousand inhabitants, yet remains below 6 per one thousand inhabitants, Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu confirmed for HotNews.ro. The National Committee for Emergency Situations issued a decision in this direction on Friday evening.