Articole scrise de Dragos Comache, transl/adapt. C.B.


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1.GfK: 65% of Romanians expect a deterioration in the family's financial situation Approximately 65% of the Romanians believe their family's situation is going to worsen in the following 12 months, as GfK Trust Barometer indicates. One year ago, the same survey said the same thing about 30% about Romania's residents. Only 6% of those who answered the GfK questionnaire hope to have a better situation within a year's time, while 23% expect everything to stay as it is.
2.VAT rise impact: Stock exchange investors - between prudence and slight opportunism The increase in Romanian VAT from 19% to 24% will lead on a short-termed investors' mistrust in the Romanian capital market, marker players told HotNews.ro. Some of them appreciate that despite a negative first reaction, the investors' trust might recover in the future if the measures adopted by the Government target a stable economy.
3.Parliament gave green light to Proprietatea Fund The Deputy Chamber plenum has approved on June 23 an emergency ordinance for the Government to accelerate the procedures of granting compensations for the residences taken abusively by the ex-communist regime. 264 deputies voted in favour and one against. Following this vote, the Proprietatea Fund will be free to distribute the remaining dividends and could list its shares at the Bucharest stock exchange (BVB).
4.Government and Central Bank to introduce bank tax. Banks say tax affects clients The Romanian Government is to discuss with the Central Bank (BNR) reps a plan for economic recovery early next week. One of the alleged measures is an additional tax for banks and a new crediting product for SMEs, Romanian Environment and Forests minister Laszlo Borbely declared on Monday, June 17, quoted by Mediafax.
5.EC launched infringement procedure against Romania on payment services The European Commission has launched the infringement procedure against Romania and other five European states although it failed to fully implement in the national legislations the payment services directive, which paves the way for the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). Authorities in Brussels will send reasoned opinion letters to the six countries, requesting the complete implementation of the Directive.
6.Romania could grant credit for Daewoo Mangalia naval site Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the second world naval constructor, announced that its Romanian division Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries could receive a government guarantee for a credit meant to fund its operations, according to Bloomberg. South-Korean group spokes person Ahn Wook Hyeon declared that Romanian authorities could grant around 100 billion wons (83 million dollars) that a Romanian bank may grant Daewoo Mangalia. 
7.Deloitte: Romania risks EU sanctions by implementing new measures for combating fiscal fraud The emergency ordinance regarding the combat of fiscal fraud contains a series of details that breeches the communitarian law. The Romanian Government risks, thus, drastic sanctions from the European Union, Deloitte Tax fiscal experts warn. The project entails setting up control centres for VAT payment for inter-community acquisitions of cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, sugar and construction materials. 
8.Eurostat: Romania, the third inflation in the EU in April Romania ranked third in the April statistics addressing inflation in the EU, having recorded a 4.2% increase in prices, according to data coming from Eurostat. At the European Union level, the rate of inflation was 2.0%, while in the euro zone, prices went up by 1.5%. 
9.IMF re-revises its economic forecast for Romania: 0.5% contraction in 2010 IMF's estimate on the evolution of Romania's economy in 2010 has been downgraded for the second time in less than a month from a 0.8% plus (of the GDP) to -0.5%, an interview with the IMF chief of mission to Romania Jeffrey Franks indicates. The interview was published in the institution's website. He estimates that the economy will recover to positive figures in 2011. 
10.The industrial production increased by 4.1% in Q1 The industrial output (the gross series) increased in the first quarter of the year by 4.1%, in contrast with the similar period last year, on the background of major increases in the manufacturing and utilities industry, according to the Romanian National Institute Statistics (INS).
11.INS investigation: Optimism returns to small enterprises The activity in the manufacturing industry and services is going to see a moderate growth in the period from April to June, in contrast with the previous three months, while the construction and retail sectors will stabilise, according to the opinions of several commercial societies’ managers interviewed by the Romanian Institute for National Statistics (INS). They estimate that the number of employees will continue to drop in all economic sectors. 
12.ING reduced Romania's 2010 economic growth forecast to 0.9% ING Bank revised its prognosis for Romania's economic growth in 2010 from 1.9% to 0.9%. The bank's analysts expect the economic activity to contract in Q1, following unfavourable weather, an ING report shows. 
13.UniCredit: Romania will get out of the crisis in 2010, but social condition will deteriorate Romania will come out of the downturn this year, but the economic recovery will be slow and the GDP increase is forecast to reach 0.4% by the UniCredit Tiriac Bank in their latest report. They indicate the recovery will also be marked by the deterioration of social conditions, which hold back consumption. The re-start of investment will be visible in the second part of the year. 
14.The leu depreciated slightly to 4.1397 lei/euro The Romanian National Bank (BNR) published on Thursday, April 15, a reference course: 4.1397 lei for one euro, 0.42 bani more than on Wednesday. On Wednesday, one euro was quoted by the central bank with 4.1355 lei. 
15.Fitch Ratings downgraded the Romanian Bank and Bancpost Fitch ratings downgraded the Romanian Bank and Bancpost ratings on long-tern credits, from "BBB-" to "BB+". This decision mirrors the ratings in the case of the mother banks, namely National Bank of Greece and EFG Eurobank Ergasias, according to one report of the financial evaluation agency. On top of that, Fitch downgraded ratings for short-term credits from "F3" to "B". 
16.The leu depreciated to 4.1425 lei per euro Romania's National Bank (BNR) issued on Tuesday a reference rate where the national currency the leu is evaluated at 4.1425 lei per euro, namely 1.2 bani more than on Monday. Yesterday, the central bank decided that 4.1305 lei paid for one euro. 
17.Unemployment rate went up to 7.5% in Q4 2009 The International Labour Office calculated the unemployment rate to amount to 7.5% at the end of last year's fourth quarter, up fro 6.8%, the figure for Q3 2009 and 5.8% in Q2, according to the data received today from the Romanian National Statistics Institute (INS). The highest unemployment rate per category was recorded in persons between 15 and 24 years old, namely 20%. 
18.Romanian currency appreciated to 4.0908 lei/euro Romania's National Bank (BNR) issued a reference course on Wednesday: 4.0908 lei for one euro, namely -0.59 bani compared to yesterday's figures. On Tuesday, April 6, Romania's central bank order of the day saw 4.0967 lei paying for one euro.
19.World Bank official: Romania will reach unemployment peak in mid-2010 Romania will reach unemployment peak at the middle of the current year, World Banc senior economist Catalin Pauna said on Thursday, April 1. He added that it was difficult to make a prediction because the signs the economy shows are not clear. The World Bank official indicated that he was expecting the unemployment rate to grow, both in the private and the public sector.
20.IMF Chief: Romania's got a tough fiscal situation, but things are brighter on monetary policy side Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF chief, said Romania's got a difficult financial situation, but things looked brighter in the monetary policy side, Romanian news agency Mediafax informs.
21.EIB vice-president: Romania's economy is undergoing the last crisis stage The Romanian economy is currently going through the last stage of the economic crisis after getting over the hardest part, European Investment Bank (EIB) vice-president Mathias Kollatz-Ahnen declared, quoted by Romanian press agency Mediafax. He explained that, in general, a crisis has four stages, which the Romanian economy is also undergoing. The last stage represents "huge" public budget difficulties.
22.Mother-branches invested 3.5 billion euros in Romania last year Companies in Romania with foreign capital have received last year capital injections worth of 3.51 billion euros from their foreign shareholders, namely 11%less than in 2008, when capital infusions raised to 3.98 billion euros, according to Romanian Commerce Registrar National Office (ONRC). The value of the social capital subscribed to companies with foreign shareholders went up 16.2% in 2009, amounting to 25.23 billion euros.
23.Romania's current account deficit dropped 73.2% in January. Sums sent by overseas Romanians went up Romania's current account of the payments balance dropped by 73.2% in January against the same time last year, amounting to 123 billion euros, according to Romania's National Bank (BNR) data. The current account deficit was 459 in January 2009.
24.Romanian IKEA Franchise was sold to Swedish group IKEA Romania has become part of the Swedish group IKEA starting with March 8, after local franchise owners decided to sell its operating rights and the store's franchise in Bucharest, a company's communiqué shows. IKEA store from Bucharest, whose red tape was cut in Mach 2007, has been operated until recently through a franchise system by the Moaro Trading company, on the basis of an agreement with Inter IKEA Systems.
25.Fitch Ratings awarded BB+ to Romania's Eurobonds issue Fitch Ratings awarded BB+ to the Eurobonds issue that expires every five years, worth of one billion euros. It was launched on Thursday evening, March 11, by the Romanian state, a financial evaluation agency report shows. This rating is similar to that Romania received for long term foreign currency debt. 
26.Annual inflation rates below the analysts' expectations The annual rate of inflation in Romania fall in February to 4.49% from 5.20% recorded i January, after consumption prices went up 0.20% against the previous month, according to the Romanian National Statistics Agency (INS). Economists estimated the annual inflation to 4.6% in February, based on a 0.3% increase in consumerist prices.
27.Romanian unemployment rate went up to 8.3% in February The unemployment rate in Romania went up to 8.3% in February, after recording 8.1% in the first month of the year, according to the Romanian National Agency for Employment (ANOFM). The same time last year the unemployment rate read 5.3%. 
28.Fitch and Capital Economics: Romania and Bulgaria present a high level risk to Greek crisis Romania is one of the countries with a high level risk regarding the exposure to Greece, considering that approximately 12% of the banking system is controlled by Greek banks warns Fitch ratings and Capital Economics, quoted by Bloomberg. They indicate that the situation is worse in Bulgaria, where approximately one third of the banking sector is owned by Greek crediting institutions. 
29.Florian Libocor, BRD: Romania should go through with the IMF agreement Romania should go through with the International Monetary Fund agreement, even there are voices saying that Romania could give up the other instalments from the foreign loan, BRD economist chief Florian Libocor.
30.Romania spent in January 127 million lei more than it raised In January 2010, Romania spent 127 million lei more from the state budget than it was able to raise. The budget deficit in January amounted to 0.03% of the GDP - 157 million lei - according to the state secretary in the Finance Ministry Gheorghe Gherghina.

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