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The Business Week in Romania 30.10 - 03.11.2017

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MACRO

·       Romania's economic growth forecast is revised

The National Prognosis Commission has positively revised Romania's economic growth estimates for this year. According to the autumn forecast, Gross Domestic Product will reach 842.5bn Lei – an increase of 6.1% (from 5.6% previously projected). The International Monetary Fund also revised its forecasted economic growth for Romania – from 4.2% to 5.5%.

·       The local ecommerce market will record revenues of 2.3bn Euro in 2017

In Romania, the e-commerce market is estimated at 2.3bn Euro, according to a study by the eCommerce Foundation. "The online commerce market in Romania is steadily growing. For 2017, we estimate that we are heading for a value of 2.3 - 2.4bn Euro only in e-tail. We periodically review new projects within the GPeC competition and we continuously interact with local online store representatives. Thus, we see a vertiginous growth in the number of online stores in categories such as Beauty (cosmetics, perfumes), home & deco or children's articles", said Andrei Radu, founder of GpeC. According to the study, the online commerce market is set to grow, reaching $ 1.87 trillion at the end of the year.

·       Romania, among the countries with the lowest gender pay gap

According to data published by Eurostat, Romania is among the EU countries with the smallest gap between women's and men's wages, with a difference of 5.8% to the detriment of women. Romania is overtaken only by Luxembourg and Italy (with a 5.5% gap). The EU average is 16.3%.

·       BRD reports a double profit

BRD, the third ranked bank in Romania, ended the first nine months of the year with a double net profit of 1.043bn Lei, compared to 586.3m Lei in the same period of the previous year. BRD had net revenues of only 1.962bn Lei (down 2.7%), but recorded an earning of 281m Lei from provisions.

·       MOL's diesel sales increased by more than 10%

In the first quarter of this year, the Hungarian oil group MOL has recorded, for the diesel category, sales 10.6% higher than in the same period of the previous year. Sales for the gasoline category remained similar. The operational result also increased by 12% (or 25m dollars).

·       Imports of energy products increased by 15.7% in 2016

Local energy imports grew last year by 15.7 percent from the 2015 volume; according to the National Institute of Statistics, this increase is the result of the increase in natural gas imports (by 1.025m tonnes of oil equivalent) and crude oil (by 0.87m tonnes of oil equivalent).

·       Romania falls nine places in the economic competitiveness chapter

According to the Doing Business 2018 report by the World Bank, Romania now ranks 45th in terms of ease of doing business – representing a nine-point downgrade compared to the previous edition. "I think it is not very well understood by the public decision makers that the life of Romanians would be much easier with a predictable fiscal environment, that is attractive, investment friendly, job creation and digitization friendly. I  think it isn’t understood that one cannot live well with politicianism and populism. I think it is not quite clear that we have to value our investors and talented fellow citizens much more. This last indicator, for the ability to retain our talented human resources in the country, should give us chills because it puts us in the top global shame: 132nd in the world, with 137 countries having been analyzed in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, published by the World Economic Forum", said INACO President Andreea Paul.

·       Romania has the largest number of EU housing owners

According to the European Statistics Office, in 2016 Romania was the country with the largest share of housing owners in the European Union; according to the data published by the Office, 96% of the population lives in private property. The percentage recorded in Romania exceeds the average recorded in all Member States (69.3%).

·       Romania to reimburse 2.1m Euro to the World Bank

In November, Romania has to pay back 2.1m Euro to the World Bank, the amount representing interest and fees for the stand-by loan contracted by our country in 2009. This year, Romania is to pay a total of 1.26bn to the European Union and the World Bank.

 

Sources: Agerpres, Ziarul Financiar, Economica.net

 

BUSINESS 

·       Erste's profit declining in Romania

In the first nine months of this year, Erste Group's (the majority shareholder of BCR) net profit fell by almost a half (54.5%), down to 102.8m Euro. Their interest income declined by 4.7%, their operating income fell by 2.5%, and their commission income declined by 4.6%.

·       Huawei opens its first location in Romania

Chinese company Huawei continues its expansion on the Romanian market by opening its first location in Bucharest. The space of 160 square meters, next to the Horizons Galleries, includes a shop and a service center. Huawei currently occupies the second place in the smartphone market, with a 15 percent share (calculated based on number of units sold).

·       UPC's revenue rose in the third quarter

UPC had a positive evolution in the third quarter of this year, registering a 7% increase in revenue, to 184m Lei. The increase is due to the 5% increase in customer numbers – currently, UPC has a portfolio of 13,700 customers (18,500 subscriptions respectively). "In this quarter we have reached and surpassed an important milestone, of over 3 million homes in the area of ​​coverage, as a result of constant investment in expanding the state-of-the-art digital network", according to Robert Redeleanu, CEO of UPC Romania and Hungary.

·       TAROM forecasts losses of over 200m Lei for 2017

The proposal to rectify the budget of TAROM anticipates losses five times higher than previously estimated – amounting to 206,793m Lei. According to the project, the company's total revenues will reach 1.149bn Lei, and the expenditures to 1.356bn Lei. Earlier in November, former Transport Minister Răzvan Cuc was talking about a profit of 1.1m dollars generated in the third quarter solely by the two aircrafts purchased by TAROM in June.

·       Dedeman owners acquire over 5% of Electrica

Brothers Dragoș and Adrian Pavăl – owners of the Dedeman business – bought 0.93% of Electrica's shares, reaching a 5.7% stake (i.e. 16.7m Lei) in the company's shares. The value of Electrica shares dropped last week to 12.86 Lei; the company achieved in the first half of this year a net profit of only 8.16m Lei, 97% lower compared to the similar period of 2016.

·       Telekom Mobile fined for 200,000 Lei

The National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) sanctioned Telekom Mobile with a fine of 200,000 Lei, for failing or delaying the porting of 6,173 telephone numbers. According to the authorities, the operator violated the provisions of the legislation: "it was found that between 1 May and 21 July 2017, Telekom Mobile did not respond by standard message to 7.213 porting requests, and thus, by August 21, 2017, they did not carry out the porting of 1,232 single individual numbers, and they delayed porting for another 4,941 unique individual numbers", ANCOM commented.

·       Digi Communications actions in a free fall

Last week, Digi Communications shares declined by 1.62 percent, reaching a new record low of 36.4 Lei. This value is even lower than the company's listing price, of 4 Lei.

 

Sources: Mediafax, Capital, Ziarul Financiar, Agerpres

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