News

Daily Newsletter - 8 November 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (3)
Investment (2)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Housing costs in EU contribute to the growing inflation quite considerably
Housing costs in the European Union contribute to the growing inflation quite considerably, according to Robert Holzmann, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council. According to ECB experts’ evaluations, the inclusion of housing cost increases into calculations seems to have generated "consistently higher" inflation since 2014 and inflation was about 0.2-0.3% higher between 2018 and 2020. EU leaders are concerned about the rising inflation. According to the latest data provided by Eurostat, inflation in the euro area in October is estimated to have been 4.1%, up from 3.4% in September, amid the growing prices of energy and services. ECB considers that a normal inflation rate is around 2%.
Fitch affirmed Bucharest’s long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings at "BBB-"
On Friday, Fitch Ratings affirmed Bucharest’s long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at "BBB-" with negative outlooks, according to a press release issued by the rating agency. The decision comes after, last month, Fitch had affirmed Romania’s sovereign rating at "BBB minus" with a negative outlook, the last step in the "investment-grade" category (recommended for investments). The negative outlook reflects the continuous uncertainty over the implementation of policies aimed at resolving structural budgetary imbalances in the medium term and the impact on Romania’s public finance of persistent pandemic risks and of the rising energy costs, Fitch indicated.
Retail sales in EU and euro area fell at an unexpected rate in September
Retail sales in the European Union and the euro area fell at an unexpected rate in September as a result of the poor performance recorded by Germany, Europe’s largest economy, according to data published by Eurostat. According to these data, retail sales fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the European Union in September compared to August. The biggest declines were recorded in Germany (-2.5%), Finland (-1.9%) and the Netherlands (-1.2%). On the other hand, in Romania, retail sales grew by 0.2% month-on-month.
Economy is currently in an uncertainty area, according to a Raiffeisen Bank specialist
Ionuţ Dumitru, founder member of the Association of Financial-Banking Analysts in Romania (AAFBR) and chief economist at Raiffeisen Bank, had stated that economy is currently in an uncertainty area, and it will be affected and economic growth will slow down towards the end of the year. Moreover, Florian Libocor, founder member of AAFBR and chief economist at BRD, has stated that GDP growth will remain in the positive zone, between 6% and 8%, depending on the evolution in Q3 and Q4. In his opinion, if restrictions are maintained, the effect will be visible in GDP’s evolution.
Financial 
Banca Transilvania grants green consumer loans with 7.5% fixed interest until the end of the year
Banca Transilvania, the biggest bank on the local market asset-wise, has an ongoing promotional offer related to the provision of green consumer loans valid until the end of the year, with a 7.5% interest rate if clients opt for life and unemployment insurance and 8% without these benefits, according to the information available on the bank’s website. BT’s green consumer loans target the acquisition of devices, electrical household appliances, equipment, scooters, even new fully-electric cars, provided they are "eco-friendly".
Intesa Sanpaolo Romania reported EUR 29 million operating income for the first nine months of 2021
Intesa Sanpaolo Romania, the local subsidiary of the Italian banking group bearing the same name, has reported an EUR 29 million operating income for the first nine months of 2021, down by 5.2% year-on-year, according to data published in Milan. On the other hand, the bank increased its operating expenses by 4% compared to the level recorded in the first nine months of 2020, to EUR 22 million. Intesa Sanpaolo Romania reached EUR 1 million net losses after the first nine months of 2021, but the decline became more moderate after losses had stood at EUR 7 million at the end of H1/2021.
OTP Bank Romania recorded a consolidated profit of RON 14 million in the first nine months of 2021
OTP Bank Romania recorded a consolidated profit after tax of RON 14 million in the first nine months of 2021, down by 65% year-on-year, amid the 23% increase in operating expenses. Operating profit in the first nine months of the year stood at RON 87 million, down by 36% against the same period of 2020. OTP Bank explains the higher costs as the result of the bank’s development strategy, launched in 2019, the higher personnel costs being mainly due to the 10% increase in the average number of employees compared to last year. Moreover, the bank’s operating profit grew by 29% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter, after a 7% advance of total revenues, OTP Bank reports.
Investment 
German company emz has decided to build a new plant in Romania
The German company emz, headquartered in Nabburg, Bavaria, has decided to build a new plant in Romania following a EUR 5 million investment and will initially employ between 50 and 100 people, but plans to create 500 new jobs in the near future. Moreover, emz is also an important local business partner, which wants to closely collaborate with the UBB University Center in Resita in the future. Production will start in the autumn of 2022.
Bricolage retailers in Romania plan to open ten new stores
At least ten bricolage stores will be opened in Romania in the following period if the plans announced by the players are fulfilled. Three openings will be under the name Hornbach, the Germans who have also opened a unit in Cluj-Napoca this year. MAM Bricolaj and Brick are two other networks that plan to expand on the local market, and the French from Leroy Merlin and the Romanians from Dedeman complete the landscape, each with a store in Braşov. The time horizon of all openings is about four years. Hornbach has the largest budget, with an average investment of EUR 27 million per store, while investments are either confidential or lower in the case of other networks. A total of over EUR 90 million seem to be at stake, according to data from the market.
Legislative 
Government is to approve the supplementation of funds for National Innotech Student Program
During today’s meeting, the Government is to approve the supplementation of funds allocated to the National Innotech Student Program, financed within the 2014-2020 Human Capital Operational Program, through a decision to amend Government Decision no. 558/2020 regarding this program, Agerpres reports. According to the substantiation note, the necessary sum for supplementing the "allocation for POCU/829/6/13 - Innotech Student" amounts to RON 556,813,564.32 (EUR 114,960,991.91). Moreover, two draft decisions regarding the closure of Uricani and Paroşeni mines within Societatea Naţionala de Închideri Mine Valea Jiului - S.A., under the Energy Ministry’s authority, will also be approved during today’s government meeting.
European News 
President Klaus Iohannis does not plan to act as a mediator in negotiations between parties
President Klaus Iohannis does not plan to act as a mediator as the negotiations between parties continue in Bucharest. In a press statement made on Thursday, 4 November, President Iohannis noted the talks between parliamentary parties and said he would postpone any formal consultations until a majority can be found. After the government’s fall precisely one month ago, Iohannis designated former prime minister Dacian Ciolos to form a government. Still, he could not gather support from any other party except his own USR.
Social 
The "Different Type of School" week will be cancelled during this school year
Minister of Education, Sorin Cîmpeanu has announced that the "Different Type of School" week will be cancelled during this school year in order to recover one of the two weeks of vacation that students benefited from in the second half of October due to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Cîmpeanu has indicated that the dates on which the 2021-2022 school year will end and those scheduled for the national exams taken by the 8th and 12th grade students will not change.
Education Minister announces 68% of schools will start classes with physical attendance on Monday
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has announced that 68% of schools will start classes with physical attendance on Monday, 8 November. Dolj, Vâlcea and Dâmboviţa counties have the largest numbers of such schools. Moreover, Sorin Cîmpeanu stated on B1 TV station on Saturday that the criterion of 60% of the educational staff being vaccinated against Covid-19 for classes to be resumed with students’ physical attendance was a compromise formula with many shortcomings.