News

Daily Newsletter - 28 October 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (4)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Private equity firms are becoming increasingly confident amid the optimistic economic forecasts
Private equity firms in Central Europe are becoming increasingly confident amid the optimistic economic forecasts, and, for the first time since 2007, none of the funds participating in a Deloitte study expects the economic situation to deteriorate. Thus, 70% of respondents believe that the economic situation will improve. The survey shows an increase in the confidence index from 62 in the summer of 2020 to 149, close to the peaks from 2007 and 2011, and 98% of respondents expect activity on this market to intensify or remain at the same level in the following months.
The cancelation of IT specialists’ tax exemption could bring EUR 600 million to the state budget
The cancelation of the tax exemption IT specialists benefit from could bring another EUR 600 million to the state budget every year, according to the Ministry of Finance. However, this decision could lead to a deep personnel crisis in the IT sector, as some of the current employees could switch to working from Romania for companies from abroad, according to specialists in the field. Several talks about the elimination of the income tax exemption that IT, constructions and research employees benefit from have appeared in the public space lately.
The majority of retail investors around the world are avoiding major changes to their portfolios
The majority of retail investors around the world are avoiding major changes to their portfolios, despite growing fears about inflation and the state of economic recovery, according to eToro’s latest quarterly Retail Investor Beat survey. However, Romanian retail investors are more concerned about the growing prices and are more likely to reposition their portfolios.
PNL leader Florin Cîţu made several statements about Romania’s economic situation
The president of the National Liberal Party, Florin Cîţu has made several statements about Romania’s economic situation. He has stated, among other things, that the country’s economy is growing, general economic parameters are improving, and political maturity is now needed to support the positive trend. Moreover, Florin Cîţu has indicated that, during this period, the Executive has managed to reduce the budget deficit by 2.6% of GDP compared to the similar period of last year.
Financial 
BCR expands the online appointments system throughout the operating hours of its branches
BCR has decided to expand the online appointments system in its branches. As a result, appointments can be made throughout the operating hours of the banking units. The system, which was introduced at the end of October 2020, has recorded nearly 5 million appointments, both by phone and online, for physical operations in branches, with a daily average of about 20,000 requests. Online appointments can be rapidly made on www.bcr.ro.
Agreements between consumers and banks were worth EUR 1.24 million in the first nine months
A number of 445 clients reached an agreement with banks or non-banking financial institutions (IFN) in the first nine months of 2021 regarding the rescheduling of loans or other disputes through the Alternative Banking Dispute Settlement Center (CSALB), the benefits to have resulted from negotiations amounting to EUR 1.24 million. The total value of benefits in the five years of CSALB’s activity is EUR 5.25 million.
Deutsche Bank ended the fifth consecutive quarter on profit
Deutsche Bank saw a decline in its investment division’s revenues, but managed to end the fifth consecutive quarter on profit, having thus exceeded expectations. The bank has reported a EUR 194 million net profit for Q3/2021, above the EUR 135 million level previously estimated by analysts. This is the longest series of profitable quarters recorded by the bank since 2012 up to present.
Investment 
eMAG Ventures has announced its first investment in the start-up Flip
eMAG Ventures, the investment fund created by eMAG - the leader of the local online retail market, with a strong presence in the region, has announced its first investment, worth EUR 1.5 million, in Flip, a start-up that buys and sells refurbished phones. eMAG Ventures is an investments program for technology companies that bring innovations in products and services directly or indirectly targeting end customers. Apart from financing, eMAG will also provide the selected companies with the know-how accumulated in the over 20 years of experience in the most dynamic tech sector of the moment, thus boosting digital economy.
Simtel Team has bought the land of Termoelectrica Giurgiu Plant
Simtel Team (SMTL), a Romanian engineering and technology company listed on the AeRO market of Bucharest Stock Exchange, has announced the acquisition of a 837,866 square meter industrial land in the built-up area of Giurgiu. The company plans to develop a large photovoltaic park with a total installed capacity between 40 and 60 MWp and aims to enter the renewable energy production market. Once construction works are finalized, it will be among the biggest photovoltaic parks in Romania.
Packeta has finalized the rebranding of its branch in Romania
Packeta, which has the largest network of pick-up points in Central and Eastern Europe, announced on Wednesday, 27 October, that it had finalized the rebranding process of its branch in Romania, Coletăria.ro being now called Packeta Romania, and that it estimated a volume of over 2.8 million delivered parcels in 2021, double than in 2020. The finalization of the rebranding process also involves a minimum 50% supplementation of the local investment budget. Packeta Romania has thus increased the value of investments allocated for the local market in 2021 to EUR 3 million.
Legislative 
Energy price capping and bills compensation have been adopted by Parliament
The draft law on energy price capping and bills compensation has been adopted by Parliament. The measures will enter into force starting from 1 November, after the law is promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis. Apart from household consumers, capped prices will also apply to new categories of consumers, such as hospitals (public and private), schools (public and private), nurseries (public and private), NGOs, public and private social service providers and religious institutions. Moreover, the VAT for energy and gas supplied to economic operators (end consumers) will be reduced from 19% to 5%.
Senators rejected draft law making the green certificate mandatory at the workplace
On Wednesday, 27 October 2021, senators debated and voted on the draft law making the green certificate mandatory at the workplace. After the MPs from the Alliance for Romanians Unity (AUR) had made a scandal in the specialized committees the day before, yesterday’s plenary session was not without incidents either. The draft law did not obtain enough votes to pass. The Senate is the first notified chamber. The draft law will now get to the Chamber of Deputies, which is the decision-making chamber. The draft law was rejected by the Senate with 67 votes "in favor" and 60 votes "against". 69 votes were required for the organic law to pass. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) and AUR voted against the bill.
European News 
USA intends to add four countries, including Romania, to its visa waiver program
US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday, 26 October, that the United States was considering adding four countries, including Romania, to its visa waiver program that allows citizens to come to America without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. In September, the United States added Croatia to the visa waiver program. US Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said on Tuesday that adding Croatia was a $100 million boost to the US economy.
Social 
Interim PM Cîţu announces supplemented budget for vouchers for people who get vaccinated
Interim Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has announced that the budget for the provision of vouchers to people who get vaccinated against Covid-19 will most likely be supplemented and that a Government meeting in this regard will take place on Thursday, 28 October. Moreover, the coordinator of the national vaccination campaign Valeriu Gheorghiţă has stated that the persons who got vaccinated within the marathon in Bucharest or in other areas and did not receive these vouchers will receive them in the following period.
PSD to hold consultations with representatives of economic sectors affected by the pandemic
On Thursday, 28 October, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is to organize consultations with the representatives of economic sectors affected by the pandemic, in order to identify solutions to overcome the current health crisis in Romania. The Social Democrats believe that a coherent and predictable plan, accepted by the representatives of affected sectors, is needed for a "solidarity month", in order to overcome the current wave of the pandemic and return to normal as soon as possible.