The Business Week in Romania 18.07 - 22.07.2016

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MACRO

·      Gloomy outlook for economic growth in Europe

The I.M.F. has downgraded its economic growth forecasts for the coming year: 01% for France and Italy, 0.2% for the Euro zone, 0.4% for Germany, and 0.9% for the U.K. The forecast for world economic growth is 3.1% for this year and 3.4% for next year, a decrease of 0.1% for both years, compared with the I.M.F. forecast in April. As for Romania, the forecasts are inauspicious: the I.M.F. predicts economic growth of 4.2% this year and 3.6% next year. The increase in consumption will be 6.2% this year and 4.8% next year, while inflation looks set to triple on average, from -0.4% this year to +3.1% next year. A slowdown in E.U. economic growth will cause problems for the Romanian economy, given that it is the main market for Romanian exports (74%), while 77% of all Romanian imports are from the E.U.

·      Iohannis sends the amendments to the Energy Law back to Parliament, partly taking into account suppliers’ criticisms

The President of Romania has sent back to Parliament the recent amendments to the Electrical Energy and Natural Gas Law, partly adopting the criticisms previously put forward by the Association of Romanian Electrical Energy Suppliers (A.F.E.E.R.). “The law to amend and expand the Electrical Energy and Natural Gas Law (no. 123/2012) imposes legislative measures aimed at electrical energy producers. In our opinion, some of the provisions of the law in question are unclear and therefore could lead to a series of consequences with a potentially negative effect on the sector, for which reason it is necessary that Parliament re-examine the normative act that has been sent for promulgation” according to a Cotroceni communiqué. The document in question mentions that one of the modifications stipulates that energy producers be required to maintain sufficient reserves of fuel or water to be able to produce and supply electricity continuously, which will be remunerated in accordance with the regulations in force.

·      Six-month motorway balance sheet

The Lugoj-Deva 3 and Gilău-Nădășelu sections of motorways under construction made the most significant progress in the last six months. Thirty-seven per cent complete at the beginning of the year, the Lugoj-Deva 3 section is now fifty-five per cent complete. The 580 million lei contract for the twenty-one-kilometre stretch of motorway was awarded to the Teloxim Con/COMSA/Aldesa Construcciones consortium in 2013. Constructed by Spedition U.M.B, the Gilău-Nădășelu section, which was sixty-six per cent complete in January, had reached seventy-seven per cent completion by July this year. Another section of the Lugoj-Deva motorway and two sections of the Sebeș-Turda motorway progressed by five percentage points. Section 4 of the Sebeș-Turda motorway is now forty-seven per cent complete and section 2 of the Lugoj-Deva motorway is now forty-two per cent complete.

·      Taxes and imposts to be payable by bankcard, and online from September

Minister of Public Finances Anca Dragu declared on Thursday that from July and August all private individuals in Romania will be able to pay their taxes and imposts by bank card at every A.N.A.F. counter, and from September payments will also be possible online at ghiseul.ro. “One of our objectives is to improve the relationship between citizens and the A.N.A.F. (…) Various taxes and imposts can now be paid using a bank card, such as income tax, taxes on non-residents incomes in Romania, excises, social insurance contributions, industrial accident and occupational illness insurance contributions, social health insurance, unemployment insurance, V.A.T., taxes and tariffs for the issue of licences and permits, consular taxes, environment taxes, fines, penalties, and confiscations” said Anca Dragu at a press conference. To this end, 101 P.O.S.’s have been installed in fifty-three A.N.A.F. premises, regional departments, county fiscal administrations, and city tax services with treasury units. The Ministry of Public Finances stated that at present the system is up and running in ten counties and two tax regions (Galați and Timișoara), and starting in September the online system for paying taxes and imposts via ghiseul.ro might also be operational.

Sources: Agerpres, Economica.net, Ziarul Financiar, Profit.ro  

 

BUSINESS ȘI INVESTIȚII

 

·      Den Braven taken over by French firm

Den Baven, which owns a construction materials factory in Buftea and which worldwide has a turnover of 350 million Euros with an E.B.I.T.D.A. margin of twelve per cent, has been taken over by Bostik, one of the major players on the world adhesives market. The transaction is estimated to be worth 485 million Euros. Bostik is based in the U.S. and has five thousand employees in fifty countries. In 2015 it was bought for 1.71 billion Euros by French firm Arkema, which has an annual turnover of 7.7 billion Euros. Den Braven employs one thousand, with twenty per cent of its workforce in Romania, and has eight factories worldwide. More than half of Den Braven Romania’s sales go abroad, to Europe and further afield, including Brazil and Chile. Wagering on the local boom, Den Braven opened its Buftea factory in 2007, investing twenty million Euros. From the outset, the polyurethane foam production unit focused on exports, which now account for half of its turnover. Products made in Bucharest reach Europe, Brazil, Chile, Argentine, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and North Africa. The backdrop to the takeover was the difficult year the market experienced in 2014, when construction materials sales fell by almost seven per cent. Den Braven Romania’s turnover decreased by ten per cent in 2014, to 180.6 million lei, and last year the company’s turnover fell to 173.5 million lei, with a net profit of 18.6 million lei.

·      Transylvania Insolvency House to buy similar companies

Transylvania Insolvency House (C.I.TR.) has bought Five S.P.R.L., a major player on the market, with a major portfolio in South-East Romania. Five S.P.R.L. is the second insolvency company taken over by C.I.TR., after Solve Insolve I.P.U.R.L. in 2011. The company is also seeking to buy other similar companies, as part of a continuing national development and expansion strategy. The Five portfolio means that C.I.TR. will now open new branches in Galați, adding to its eight other branches in Bucharest, Bihor, Brașov, Cluj, Ilfov, Satu Mare, Sibiu and Timiș. Five S.P.R.L.’s files include S.C. Petroconsult S.R.L., Apasco S.A. (a hydro-technical construction company), and Vega 93 S.R.L., one of the biggest players in the Romanian construction market. C.I.TR. has managed more than eight hundred companies in insolvency.

·      Turkish Airlines: four flights a week between Cluj and Istanbul

On 26 July, Turkish Airlines will begin four weekly flights between Cluj and Istanbul. However, the introduction of the new route comes against the backdrop of the failed coup in Turkey and current state of emergency there. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended that Romanians travelling to Turkey be vigilant. The Cluj-Istanbul flights will run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Turkish Airlines is a marginal operator in Romania, only running regular flights to Istanbul from Constanța and Bucharest. The airlines shares fell by 18.29% after the failed coup, with the United States banning all flights between Turkey and America. Romanian state airline Tarom has regular flights to Istanbul, as well as thirty charter flights a week to tourist resort Antalya and Bodrum from airports in Bucharest, Timișoara, Cluj, Iași, Craiova, and Suceava. After the failed coup, fifteen per cent of the tourists who had already booked flights for the next day cancelled.

·      OLX tackles the online real estate advertisements market

Next month OLX.ro, the biggest Romanian online small advertisements platform, will be expanding its portfolio of online advertisements for real-estate agents and also plans to launch a specialised site for the sector. From the beginning of August OLX Romania, part of the South-African Naspers group, will provide sales packages to real-estate agents, which will also include access to a customer relationship management (C.R.M.) platform called AtlaStock, via which they will be able to manage advertisements and view information relating to transactions in real time. At present the real estate category is one of the three most visited categories on OLX.ro, with an average of 3.5 visitors a month. The OLX expansion comes not long after Imobiliare.ro, the biggest portal for the sector, was bought by Swiss media group Ringier.

·      Transgaz and Ukrtransgaz break Gazprom’s Romanian pipeline monopoly

Transgaz and its Ukrainian counterpart Uktransgaz have signed a gas pipeline interconnection agreement for Romania and the Ukraine, regarding the Isaccea interconnection point. The agreement will break the monopoly enjoyed by Russian giant Gazprom. The two companies have signed similar agreements with Bulgarian transport operator Bulgartransgaz, after expiry of an agreement that granted the Russian company a monopoly. Gas transit between the three countries will be tested at the end of this year. Uktransgaz has announced that the interconnection agreement is part of the European Commission’s C.E.S.E.C. initiative, aimed at increasing regional gas pipeline interconnectivity.

·      Nuclearelectrica shareholders have agreed to extend negotiation with the Chinese for reactors 3 and 4

Nuclearelectrica shareholders have agreed to a four-month extension of negotiations with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (C.G.N.), at the request of the Chinese partners. The decision was taken at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on 18 July. The negotiation period was extended to 9 September. The Government agreed to the extension on 2 June, through a Memorandum of Understanding titled “Continuation of Negotiations on the Investment Documents regarding the Development, Construction, Operation and Shutdown of Units 3 and 4 of C.N.E. Cernavodă.”

Sources: Bursa, Ziarul Financiar, Economica.net, Profit.ro 

 

 

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