Daily Newsletter - 9 March 2017


Macroeconomic News (4)

Warning (detailed) for lucid ones: 4.8% – highest growth in Europe – NOT based on something tangible: Industry contributed 0.4%, construction 0.1% and agriculture nothing 

The National Institute of Statistics (INS) confirmed the last year’s economic growth at 4.8%, the first preliminary version published after the initial forecast announced as a signal. (We remind that the second preliminary version is to be announced after about a month and the semi-final version after one year, while the data will remain “set in stone” only after two years, in their final form). The seasonally adjusted result for the fourth quarter was 1.3% compared to the previous quarter, which seems to be the best value in the last three years. If we analyse, though, the progress between July-September, much lower than in 2014 and 2015 (less than one third), we can see that the favourable base effect boosted performance in the last quarter of last year.


A different look at private sector 

Between 2008 and 2015, the private sector to public sector employee ratio went from 3.45 to almost 4. In Vaslui county, the ratio was less than two private employees for every public employee in 2015. At the other end of the spectrum was Ilfov county, which boasted almost 10 private employees per state employee.


Net investment in national economy down 3.3% 

The value of net investment in the national economy was RON 70.2 billion last year, down 3.3% on an annual basis, according to a press release from the National Statistics Institute (INS).


Analysts say salary increases put competitiveness at risk 

The recent salary increases announced by the Cabinet, especially the minimum salary increase, have no relation to productiveness and are a threat to Romania's competitiveness, according to ING Bank Romania analysts. The increases may force BNR to allow the exchange rate to move higher.


Financial News (4)

ING Bank Romania posts RON 565 million in gross profits 

ING Bank Romania has posted RON 565 million in gross profits for 2016, up 42% year-on-year, thanks in part to the selling of a Visa stake. The bank's portfolio of loans reached RON 17.6 billion at the end of 2016, up 22% year-on-year, and more than 270,000 new clients were added to the bank's books.


EUR surges above RON 4.55 

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) posted yesterday a reference exchange rate of RON 4.5512 for the euro, up 0.3% on the day and the highest exchange rate since June 7, 2013.


Cabinet approved Prima Casa budget 

The Cabinet approved a RON 2.5 billion guarantee budget for the Prima Casa program. The budget should cover around 30,000 loans. Since the interest rate is set by law, the banks offer very similar PC loans.


ING Bank CEO against debtor relief 

The debtor relief law has created a state of uncertainty and it's very dangerous that such things can happen, according to ING Bank CEO Michal Szczurek.


Investment News (2)

ArcelorMittal Galati completes EUR 12.5 million investment project 

ArcelorMittal Galati has started operating the new equipment installed at Unit 2 through an investment project worth EUR 12.5 million. The project is part of an extended technical improvement program.


Impact to begin building second residential project 

Impact is preparing to begin building its second residential project in Bucharest, located on a property owned by the company in the Ghencea neighborhood. Impact wants to do the same thing it did in northern Bucharest, where it built Greenfield.


Legislative News (1)

Cabinet changes procurement law 

The procedures for pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, design and condemnation will be simplified through a law, which is currently under discussion by the Cabinet. This would speed up the implementation of the Cabinet's future projects, especially in the fields of transportation, defense and energy.


Politics (2)

Parliament censures president 

The Parliament adopted a statement accusing President Klaus Iohannis, the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) and the Ministry of Public Administration of "abuse of law" and "usurping" the Parliament's right to hold the Cabinet accountable.


Dragnea opposes pardon 

Liviu Dragnea, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced that he would ask the party's MPs to vote against the amendments filed by Senator Serban Nicolae to the pardon bill.