Daily Newsletter - 9 November 2020


Macroeconomic News (3)

CC: We must find solutions to support the domestic bitumen production

The Competition Council maintains that solutions must be found to support the domestic bitumen production, given that, in the context of the road infrastructure projects announced for 2021-2030, demand is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Currently, the road bitumen market in Romania has oligopolistic features, with a single producer and only ten importers, according to an analysis by the Competition Council.


Consumption picks up in December

The National Statistics Institute (INS) will release the third quarter figures on November 14. Retail sales, the most important indicator for private consumption, increased in September by 4.6% year-on-year, a trend driven mainly by non-food sales, which saw an annualized increase of almost 12%.


Romania collected VAT worth 6.2% of GDP

Last year, the value of the VAT collected to Romania's state budget amounted to 6.2% of the GDP, one of the lowest rates in the European Union, according to Eurostat. The reports released by the Ministry of Finance showed that Romania collected VAT worth RON 65.4 billion, in nominal terms, the equivalent of 20.3% of the state's revenues.


Financial News (4)

Banks don't feel the crisis

The economy contracted by 3.9%, in seasonally adjusted series, in the first half of this year, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). The banking system, the main source of financing for the Romanian economy, obtained almost RON 4.5 billion in earnings in the first eight months of 2020, thanks to an average 5.4% increase in lending during this period, according to BNR data.


SMEs can access financing via CEC Bank

CEC Bank has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment (MEEMA), joining the state aid scheme that lets small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the Covid-19 pandemic access grants for current operations and investment projects, the bank announced on Thursday.


MFP continues to sell bonds to retail clients

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) announced it would sell more bonds, denominated in both RON and EUR, to retail buyers through the Fidelis program, between November 9 and 27. The bonds have nominal values of RON 100 and EUR 100, depending on the denomination, while the minimum subscription thresholds are RON 5,000 or EUR 1,000.


OTP Bank Romania posted RON 39 million in earnings

OTP Bank Romania logged for the first nine months of the year a consolidated profit of RON 39 million (after taxes), down from the corresponding period of last year, as a result of the increase in the cost of risk in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press release.


Investment News (1)

EC approves EUR 150 million aid program

The European Commission announced on Friday that it had approved an aid program worth EUR 150 million put forward by Romania to support investment in district heating systems based on renewable energy sources. The program will promote the transition from burning fossil fuels to make thermal energy to the use of renewable energy sources, in line with the goals of the European Green Pact.


Legislative News (1)

Tax rules for mixed-use buildings to change

The tax on mixed-use buildings will no longer be calculated on the basis of an expert report. The report will be replaced by a statement filed by the building owner, according to a bill signed into law by President Iohannis. The measure will come into force on January 1, 2021. The bill was initiated by USR, but was also supported by PSD.


Politics (2)

Ciolacu: The American people has spoken

Marcel Ciolacu, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), has congratulated Joe Biden for his victory in the US presidential election. "I salute the election of Joe Biden, after a competition that caught the eye of the entire world, and I wish success to the new president in the important and difficult mission ahead of him!"


Klaus Iohannis sends message congratulating Joe Biden

President Klaus Iohannis has joined the group of leaders who rushed to congratulate Joe Biden for winning the United States presidential election, even though rival Donald Trump has yet to concede.


Social (1)

Cabinet boosts strategic stockpiles of drugs

Romania will buy 1,500 non-invasive ventilators, 50 million surgical masks and 10 million syringes, according to the changes made by the Cabinet to the strategic medical stockpiles regulations. The estimated budget for these acquisitions is EUR 67 million.