Coface maintains Romania’s rating at B, risk class, unchanged since January 2010, according to Julien Marcilly, head of the Country Risk division of Coface, in a press conference, Money.ro informs. The best rated country of Central and Eastern Europe is the Czech Republic, although it was downgraded to A2, followed by Estonia, Poland and Slovenia belonging to the risk class A3, while the bottom position is occupied by Serbia, with C. The country rating measures the average risk of payment incidents registered by the companies of a certain country. Coface estimates for Romania an economic growth of 1 pc this year, while for Bulgaria it expects a 0.4 pc growth. Meanwhile, Hungary will have an economic decline of 1.6 pc and the Czech Republic one of 1.3 pc. For the countries of emerging Europe, Coface estimates an economic advance of 1.9 pc, but for the euro zone it expects a decline of 0.5 pc this year. Katarzyna Kompowska, CEO Coface for Central and Eastern Europe, said in a press conference that governments must make reforms and draft economic recovery plans using long-term projections, rather than seek short-term gains. On the other hand, in Romania the sovereign debt risk indicator is relatively low, slightly above the average of Central and Eastern Europe, although it strongly increased these years. If in 2008 the sovereign debt was approximately 13 pc of the GDP, now it reached 35 pc.Romania’s vulnerability to the crisis of the euro zone and of Greece is relatively low, compared to other states of Central and Eastern Europe, finds an analysis made by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), whose results were presented at the Coface conference by Laza Kekic, the head of EIU’s forecasting department. Romania ranges somewhere at the middle of a list of states in this region, based on the index of vulnerability to the crisis of the euro zone, calculated by the EIU depending on indicators like the share held in the GDP by exports to the euro zone, the foreign direct investments coming from the euro zone, the loans taken from Western banks, the risk of the banking sector, the foreign currency risk and the budget deficit. Plus, even if Greece becomes a threat to the region, Romania’s direct exposure to the situation of Greece is smaller than in the case of states like Bulgaria, Macedonia or Montenegro. For instance, Greek banks control 15 pc of the Romanian banking sector’s assets, while in Bulgaria they control 30 pc.
BVB president: For the next 10 years, the main difficulty for Romania will be to create jobs
Attending the event, the president of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), Lucian Anghel said that for the next 10 years, the main difficulty for Romania will be to create new jobs and maintain the existing ones. The BVB official mentioned that Romania has several variants – any infrastructure project, also those with EU funds (Corridor 4) or those made in public-private partnership, like the Comarnic-Brasov motorway segment. In the case of this project, during yesterday’s meeting of the Cabinet, PM Ponta requested the ministries of Transport, Finance, Justice and the General Secretariat of the Government to find a solution to repeat the auction, because the “political bureaucracy” and the National Council for Solving Complaints have blocked this procedure.
Analysts: Adopting EUR in 2015, a Sci-Fi subject
Romania’s adoption of the EUR currency in 2015 is a Sci-Fi subject, Volksbank Romania’s chief economist Melania Hancila stated on Wednesday at the Coface Country Risk conference. She stated that the main motivation for adopting the common currency was the Euro Zone’s stability, as well as the low financing costs, but now the markets differentiate between states and Romania will not be able to borrow at low costs unless it manages to grow in the eyes of investors. Moreover, Romania would lose the advantage of a flexible exchange rate. In his turn, Raiffeisen Bank’s chief economist Ionut Dumitru stated that 2015 is currently a completely unrealistic goal but Romania should nevertheless have a time horizon for adopting the EUR, albeit a realistic one.