Daily Newsletter - 18 January 2018


Macroeconomic News (4)

Romania ranks 17th in EU car registrations index 

The number of new cars registered in Romania jumped 10.7% last year, to a total of 105,083 units. This figure put Romania in the 17th place in the EU index of new registrations, according to data released by industry groups ACEA and ACAROM. The index is headed by Germany with 3.44 million new cars, followed by the UK (2.54 million) and France (2.11 million). The most popular automakers are the Volkswagen group (3.71 million units), the PSA group (1.88 million) and Renault (1.62 million).


M&A market climbed to EUR 4-4.5 billion in 2017 

The national M&A market amounted to EUR 4-4.5 billion last year, up 15% compared to 2016, according to data presented at yesterday's press conference by representatives of Deloitte Romania.


Moody's sees worsening structural deficits in Romania and Hungary 

The sovereign ratings of Central and Eastern European countries have a stable outlook, which reflects the solid economic growth reported for the entire region and which compensates to a certain extent the structural and institutional difficulties, according to a report released by Moody's Investors Service. The agency expects the region's governments to continue their relaxed fiscal policies.


Record trade 

The Minister for Business Environment, Ilan Laufer, announced on Wednesday that Romania's trade with a series of states, including Canada, Iran, India, China, USA, Germany, Poland and Russia, had increased to record levels in 2017. According to Laufer, this increase is partly responsible for last year's high economic growth rate.


Financial News (3)

3M ROBOR rate dropped to 1.97% 

The three-month ROBOR rate, which is used to calculate the adjustable interest rates of most RON-denominated loans, dropped to 1.97% after three days of stagnation. This is the lowest rate in two months, according to BNR.


Erste, UniCredit and Raiffeisen no longer interested in acquisitions 

Financial groups Erste, UniCredit and Raiffeisen, the leading players of the Central and Eastern European banking market, are no longer interested in new acquisitions or new markets, preferring instead to focus on organic growth in the countries where they are already operating. Zdenek Turek, CEO Citibank Europe, stated that some investment funds are still interested in buying CEE banks. Although seven banks were put up for sale in Romania in the past years, the three groups allowed Banca Transilvania and OTP to be the leading buyers. BT bought Volksbank and is now buying Bancpost, a move that pushed it to the second place on the national market and very close to BCR. OTP bought Millennium Bank and Banca Romaneasca.


Banca Transilvania buys Victoriabank stake 

Banca Transilvania has become a shareholder of Victoriabank, the third biggest bank in the Republic of Moldova. BT and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development own between them more than 66% of the Moldovan bank. Victoriabank has more than 540,000 clients, 1,400 employees and close to 100 branch offices.


Investment News (2)

Government wants to spend EUR 27 billion on highways 

The Government wants to complete 11 highways, 19 expressways and dozens of modernization and beltway projects by 2030. The financial effort for this gigantic infrastructure program was put at EUR 27 billion. However, the state budget and the European Union can provide only 40% of the necessary funding.


Wielputz Automotive to build Craiova plant 

German company Wielputz Automotive has leased three hectares of land in Craiova's High-Tech Industry Park in order to build a car part manufacturing plant. The investment project is worth EUR 10 million and the plant is scheduled to open in September. Wielp�tz Automotive is a supplier of Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors and Ford.


Legislative News (1)

EC working on slashing or eliminating VAT 

The member states from the European Union will be able to slash or even eliminate the VAT for a wide range of products, according to a draft directive being discussed by the European Commission. The purpose of this directive is to reform the EU's centralized tax setting system and the first public proposal is expected on Thursday.


Politics (2)

Dragnea says President Iohannis chose stability 

Liviu Dragnea, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), stated on Wednesday that President Iohannis had "chosen stability" and avoided plunging the country into a political crisis by designating Viorica Dancila as the candidate for the prime ministership. Dragnea added that the party's National Executive Committee (CExN) would meet on Monday to nominate the next cabinet.


President Klaus Iohannis designates Viorica Dancila as PM candidate 

President Klaus Iohannis accepted the Social Democratic Party's (PSD) decision and designated Viorica Dancila as the candidate to the position of prime minister. The President warned the PSD that, after two "failed cabinets", the time has come to do better.