Daily Newsletter - 8 October 2020


Macroeconomic News (3)

100,000 HoReCa employees to be laid off by year's end

Some 100,000 HoReCa employees will be laid off by the end of the year, while the industry will lose EUR 3 billion as a result of the restrictions imposed by the government in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Catalin Ile, President of the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation (FIHR). Ile added that the decision to close down all restaurants and cafes, taken by the Bucharest Municipal Emergency Situations Committee (CMBSU) on Tuesday, was not accompanied by evidence that these venues had contributed to spreading the virus.


Rents up almost 15% in 10 years

Local housing prices increased by 6.6% in the second quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019. Between 2010 and 2020, EU housing prices gained an average of 25%, while rent jumped 14.2%. However, Romania and six other EU members reported higher growth rates for rents, compared to sale prices.


World Bank report paints bleaker picture of Romanian economy

The data included in the World Bank's autumn report, "COVID-19 and Human Capital", which updates the forecast for the countries of Europe and Central Asia, shows the skepticism voiced by the bank's experts regarding the possibility of a rapid recovery by the Romanian economy. While the National Forecast Commission (CNSP) expects the economy to fall 3.8% this year, followed by a 4.9% expansion in 2021, the World Bank sees a 5.7% contraction this year and a similar growth rate for 2021.


Financial News (3)

Negotiations between debtors and banks turn sour

433 negotiations between consumers and banks were launched in 2020 by the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center (CSALB), but the number of failed negotiations is rising. Only 233 cases ended with a mutual agreement between the two sides, while 51 cases ended with no agreement being reached.


Autumn begins with low liquidity deficit

The pressure influencing the exchange rate imposed a tighter liquidity control in September, and the National Bank of Romania (BNR) stopped buying state bonds. Some banks reported liquidity shortages in September, while others resorted to BNR's overnight facility in order to handle their excess liquidity.


UniCredit joined grant program

UniCredit Bank Romania signed the cooperation agreement required to join the program for distributing grants to SMEs. The program was launched by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment (MEEMA) under Decree 130/2020. The program gives SMEs affected by the COVID pandemic the possibility to access EUR 1 billion in grants.


Investment News (1)

Kaufland opens new hypermarket in Bucharest

Hypermarket chain Kaufland announced the opening of a new location in Bucharest's Straulesti neighborhood, in the northern part of the city. This is the 135th Kaufland store in the country.


Legislative News (2)

CCR rules against Court of Accounts bill

The bill amending the Court of Accounts' charter is unconstitutional, according to an unanimous ruling handed down by the Constitutional Court. The court found that the bill lacked the approval of the Economic and Social Council.


Senate rejects amendment to state stakes bill

The Senate rejected yesterday the Cabinet's attempt to amend the bill that banned the selling of state stakes in companies, including minority stakes. The Cabinet had adopted a bill last week that defined stakes as stock, thus opening the way to the selling of assets.


Politics (2)

PSD leader blasts President Iohannis

Marcel Ciolacu, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), stated that President Iohannis and Prime Minister Orban bear full and sole responsibility for the situation in the country.


President Iohannis: The Parliament's term cannot be extended by law

President Iohannis said on Wednesday that the Parliament's term cannot be extended by law. The president added that some MPs "never get enough and want to extend their time a bit longer". "The election will be held on December 6. It was decided, it's being prepared, the candidates have already filed the paperwork," said President Iohannis.


Social (2)

All students to have free use of local and county transport

Primary and high school students could receive free use of public transport, at both local and county level, as well as free access to all trains around the year, according to a bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday. The bill was drafted by PSD members and is the party's second attempt to secure free transport for students.


Minister of Health urges population to observe regulations

The Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru, appealed to the population on Wednesday to observe the health regulations imposed by the government and the local authorities in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, adding that the medical system is under maximum pressure. Tataru specified that, if the number of infections decreases in the next two weeks, certain restrictions will be relaxed.