News

Daily Newsletter - 9 September 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (2)
Financial (3)
Investment (2)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (3)
Macroeconomic 
Former Finance Minister Alexandru Nazare has criticized the budget adjustment
Former Finance Minister Alexandru Nazare has criticized Prime Minister Florin Cîțu for the way he operated the budget adjustment. Mr. Nazare, who was reshuffled by Florin Cîțu, has indicated that the adjustment operated by the government increases the budget deficit by RON 3.7 billion, an extra sum that will have to be borrowed. Moreover, Mr. Nazare has pointed out that the budget adjustment does not exactly follow the recommendation of the EU Council’s meeting on 17-18 June, which had validated Romania’s fiscal consolidation trajectory.
The extension of the current political scandal could have repercussions in economy
Economic analysts unanimously say that the effects of the current political scandal on the business environment and on the economic sector will become visible depending on the duration of the political crisis. If the political scandal ends within about a week, then it will not have repercussions on economy and investments, but if the current situation lasts for a month or two, macroeconomic indicators will suffer, according to the specialists.
Financial 
Banca Transilvania received shareholders’ approval to distribute RON 500 million dividends
On Wednesday, 8 September, the shareholders of Banca Transilvania (stock exchange symbol - TLV), the largest credit institution in Romania, approved the distribution of RON 425.75 million dividends from the profit recorded in 2020, as well as RON 74.25 million from the reserves corresponding to 2019, amounting to a total of RON 500 million, according to a report published at Bucharest Stock Exchange. The gross dividend was set at RON 0.07922085114 per share, which, at current trading prices, ensures an approximately 2.6% return for investors.
New RON-denominated mortgage loans exceeded RON 2 billion in July
Romanians contracted over RON 2 billion new RON-denominated mortgage loans in July 2021, up by RON 714 million (55.5%) against the level recorded in July 2020, which had followed the state of emergency imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the new monthly record high of new RON-denominated mortgage loans in the past 14 years. In 2020, July marked a recovery of mortgage lending, after June 2020 had been the weakest month from this point of view, new RON-denominated mortgage loans having dropped below the RON 1 billion threshold, to RON 0.9 billion. Moreover, the volume of RON-denominated mortgage loans in July 2021 was also higher than the one recorded in June, of about RON 1.81 billion.
First Bank’s profit in H1/2021 was 2.5 times higher than in the similar period of 2020
First Bank (the former Piraeus Bank), owned by the US investment fund J.C. Flowers, has reported a net profit of RON 54 million for H1/2021, 2.5 times higher than the level recorded in the same period of 2020, while the bank’s net operating income grew by 10% year-on-year, to RON 177 million. During the period January-June 2021, the bank generated a 13.9% return on equity (ROE) and the bank’s total assets stood at RON 6.9 billion at the end of June, according to the information provided by the banking institution’s representatives.
Investment 
Liberty is investing EUR 6.3 million in a modern pipe coating line
The company Liberty is investing EUR 6.3 million in a modern line that will be used to cover the pipes manufactured in the specialized unit LIBERTY Tubular Products Galati. The first of the 80 trucks carrying components of the pipe coating line have already arrived from the Netherlands, and the transport of the equipment will be finalized in September. The new line’s installation works are expected to be carried out in 2022. The project also includes the establishment of a testing laboratory.
A consortium of South Korean companies plans to invest USD 1.3 billion in a power plant
A consortium of companies from South Korea, formed of AKEDA, Hyundai Power Systems and BRB Energy, plans to invest USD 1.3 billion in a 1,000 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Mintia, BKB president Siwoo Chung stated during a press conference. The consortium also intends to invest in Oltenia Energy Company (Complexul Energetic Oltenia), in the projects for the reconversion of coal-fired power plants.
Legislative 
The vulnerable consumer law will enter into force on 1 November
The reunited committees from the Chamber of Deputies have issued the final report on the draft vulnerable consumer law, and the final vote on the law will be cast during the plenary session. About 350,000 households will fall into the category of vulnerable consumers and will benefit from subsidies amid the growing electricity and gas bills. The law should thus enter into force on 1 November, and applications could be submitted by consumers starting from this winter. The cold season which bills can be compensated for covers five months, until 31 March, and can be extended. The committees estimate that the law will enter into force, from a legal point of view, next week at the earliest, following its publication in the Official Gazette of Romania, after being approved during the Chamber’s plenary session and promulgated by President Iohannis.
European News 
Climate change is identified as the biggest challenge that will affect Europe
Climate change and other environmental challenges are identified as the first biggest challenge that will affect Europe in the coming decades, raising risks ranging from migration pressure to food price shocks, the European Commission said in a report adopted on Wednesday, 8 September. Moreover, water stress, conflict and migration are all expected to intensify in the coming decades as a result of a warming planet, the Commission warned in its Strategic Foresight Report.
Social 
CMSU has decided that the protective mask will become mandatory around schools
Bucharest’s Committee for Emergency Situations (CMSU) has decided that the protective mask will become mandatory within a radius of 50 meters around schools, kindergartens and nurseries in Bucharest. The measure will enter into force on 13 September, when pupils and students return to school. In Bucharest, the incidence of COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days has exceeded 1 per one thousand inhabitants.
Over 90% of COVID-19-associated deaths in the past week were in unvaccinated persons
More than 90% of COVID-19-associated deaths in the past week were in unvaccinated persons. Over 35% of deaths were recorded in Călăraşi, Bucharest, Timiş, Constanţa and Iaşi. According to data published by the National Institute of Public Health on Wednesday, 8 September, 37.1% of all the cases reported during the week 30 August – 5 September were recorded in Bucharest, Timiş, Cluj, Satu Mare and Suceava.
Over 70% of Romanian employees have experienced burnout in the past five years
About 76.5% of Romanian employees say they have experienced at least one burnout episode in the past five years, according to a survey conducted by the Undelucram.ro platform, the largest online community of employees in Romania, in August this year. 3,016 employees aged over 18 were interviewed within this survey. Thus, 54% of Romanian employees say they have experienced several burnout episodes in the past five years, and 22.5% have only gone through a single moment of work-related burnout. About 20% say they are unable to identify the state of burnout and only 3% say they have not experienced such moments at all.