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Cristiano Bergodi asks for EUR 500,000 in damages


Cristiano Bergodi is asking for damages from his former club Steaua Bucharest, accusing it of damaging his image and of discrimination. The club officials’ decision to unilaterally cancel their contract with the Italian head coach convinced Bergodi to contest the move within the Bucharest Court, Bogdan Tohaneanu, the Italian head coach’s lawyersaid, gsp reports. ‘We have contested Steaua’s decision to cancel its contract with Mr. Bergodi. Likewise, we have asked for EUR 500,000 in damages because my client’s image was damaged and he was subjected to discrimination when the club’s players and staff received their salaries and he didn’t,’ Tohaneanu stated.


Mike Tyson arrested
in airport scuffle with paparazzo



Former boxing champ Mike Tyson was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after a scuffle with a celebrity photographer who was following him at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, police said, quoted by CNN. Tyson, 43, allegedly landed one punch to the head of the paparazzo, sending him to the floor at the United Airlines ticket counter, airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb said. The photographer was taken to a hospital for treatment of a cut suffered when he hit the floor, Holcomb said. Tyson was calm and cooperative when he was taken to an airport police station holding cell, Holcomb said. A crowd of photographers lined the driveway as a patrol car – with Tyson sitting handcuffed in the back – left the airport police station for a south Los Angeles police station for booking.

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Swimming-American Hardy sets 50 metres breaststroke world record


American Jessica Hardy broke the women’s 50 metres breaststroke world record at a World Cup short course event on Wednesday. Hardy won her morning heat by clocking 28.96 seconds, improving on her record of 29.36 set in Moscow four days ago


Simona Halep reaches second round in Minsk


Romanian tennis player Simona Halep qualified for the second round of the challenger tournament in Minsk (Belarus) after defeating top seed Anastasia Iakimova (Belarus) on Tuesday, score 6-1, 6-1, the itftennis.com website informs. The tournament has total prizes of USD 50,000. Halep will next play against the winner of the game pitting Michaella Krajicek (Netherlands) against Eva Hrdinova (Czech Republic).


Gabriela Szabo – birthday at the Opera on November 15


Former Romanian athlete Gabriela Szabo will celebrate her 34th birthday and a decade since winning the ‘Track & Field Athlete of the Year’ title in an event organized on Sunday, November 15, within Bucharest’s National Opera. Gabriela Szabo’s ’10-year Anniversary Gala’ marks a decade since the athlete won the ‘Track & Field Athlete of the Year’ and the ‘Women’s European Athlete of the Year’ awards. The former, awarded by the World’s Sports Press Association, is the first of its kind in the history of Romanian athletics. Likewise, the three-time world champion and the holder of the European record in the 3,000-meters race will celebrate her birthday. The evening’s main event will consist of Hector Berlioz’s ‘Fantastic Symphony,’ with the choreography signed by Gigi Caciuleanu and Razvan Mazilu as top dancer.


Romania represented by six athletes at Karate World Cup in Morocco


Romania’s delegation to the 2009 edition of the U-21 WKF World Cup, a competition set to take place from November 12 to November 15 in Rabat, Morocco, consists of 6 athletes and 3 officials and is lead by sensei Vasile Manea. The 2009 U-21 World Cup, organized by the World Karate Federation and by the Moroccan National Karate Federation, will gather competitors from 66 countries.


Universitatea Craiova’s open letter
to Razvan Lucescu



In an open letter addressed to Razvan Lucescu, the head coach of the national football team, Universitatea Craiova criticizes the head coach’s statements on goalkeeper Silviu Lung Jr. The letter, posted on the club’s website and signed by sports director Vlad Rosca, argues that Razvan Lucescu offended the young goalkeeper, his father (former great goalkeeper Silviu Lung) and the club. The letter also reminds the fact that the head coach did not summon Florin Costea, the club’s top goal scorer, at the national team. At the same time the letter argues that the national team needs a head coach that ‘should not allow be driven by personal vendettas.’

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BUSINESS

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AEGON returns to profit
in Q3



Dutch insurer AEGON, presented also in Romania, returns to profit in Q3, its first since the financial crisis became most acute last fall. According to a press release, net income profit improved to EUR 145 M compared with a loss of EUR 329 M in the same period a year earlier. AEGON reported a 30 percent drop in underlying earnings to 351 million euros due to exceptional items, such as reducing its equity and credit market risks and the UK provision for potential over-charges. AEGON’s life insurance business, its largest, reported EUR 289 M in operating earnings, compared with EUR 214 million a year ago. “AEGON’s improved capital position, the strength of our franchise and return to profit in the third quarter are evidence that the actions we initiated a year ago were the right ones at the right time. On November 30 we will repay EUR 1 billion to the Dutch government, an important first step toward full repayment of the capital support AEGON received last year. (…) Moreover, we have achieved our full-year cost savings target of EUR 150 M and further reduced AEGON’s risk to financial markets”, said Alex Wynaendts, CEO AEGON.


BMW Romania to launch BMW 5 Series, X3 and
a crossover Mini in 2010



BMW Group Romania will launch the new BMW 5 Series, the BMW X3 as well as a crossover Mini next year, Stephan Breschan, the general director of the car importing company, stated.


‘The most important launch is scheduled next spring – the new BMW 5 Series – and in the second half of next year we will launch the BMW X3. Likewise, the Mini series will grow with the addition of a new crossover. With the first two models we plan to return at the top of the premium segment in the context in which our direct competitors, Mercedes and Audi, did not announce significant novelties,’ the head of the company stated. Romania is 4th in the region when it comes to BMW sales with 838 units sold in the first nine months of the year and a market share of 1.2 per cent. Romania trails behind Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

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Alpha Bank Romania launches Alpha Housing anniversary offer


Alpha Bank proposes a new promotion – Alpha Housing. Thus, according to a press release remitted to our editorial office, the necessary minimum down payment is from 20 per cent of the value of the house, while the acquired house may not be the first dwelling of the client. Alpha Housing promotion includes several additional benefits such as: the free issue of a card AlphaCard Visa Credit or Alpha MasterCard Credit, the possible use of the Internet Banking service Alpha Click, without connection fee and without subscription, and discounts and facilities in the partner shops through Alpha Club, the non-trading card offered by Alpha Bank together with the credit facilities which exceed EUR 30,000 or the equivalent.


GarantiBank Romania assets reached EUR 670 M in October


GarantiBank Romania registered a growth trend similar to the one of the parent bank, having notably developed its activity in 2009. According to a press release, the bank’s total assets exceeded the initial growth target by 40 per cent compared to the figures registered at the end of last year, reaching EUR 670 M in October. At the end of Q3, the total loans granted by the bank had exceeded EUR 450 M. The number of customers tripled compared to December 2008, to a total of 125,000, and the total number of debit/credit cards issued exceeded 120,000. Currently, GarantiBank Romania has a network of 50 branches, 70 ATMs and over 4,000 POS terminals. GarantiBank Turkey posted a consolidated net profit after the first nine months of YTL 2,158 bn (about EUR 1 bn), 46 per cent up compared to the period of reference of 2008. The bank’s consolidated asset value was YTL 112 bn (EUR 52 bn), 13 per cent up compared to the end of 2009. The bank granted loans in a total value of YTL 69 bn (EUR 32 bn).


Astra Asigurari –
over RON 4 M profit



Astra Asigurari company registered in the first nine months of 2009 a net profit of RON 4,179,465, 218.15 per cent more than the profit obtained in the same period of the past year of RON 1,313,642, according to a press release sent to our editorial office.


The volume of the total subscribed gross premiums (life and non-life) registered by the company after the first nine months of 2009 amounts to RON 611,378,828, of which RON 604,167,507 represent the volume of the general insurance subscribed gross premiums, up 22 per cent over the third quarter 2008.


The most important rises were registered for buildings and assets, where the growth was 235 per cent. The results for Casco Aviation were also very good, namely RON 9.6 M, up 36 per cent. The civil liability for aircrafts registered results of RON 9.5 M, against RON 8.4 M in the same period of the past year, this insurance line registering a growth of 13 per cent. The growth is due to obtaining some important aviation accounts and to the renewal of some accounts from the portfolio. Other important amounts were registered by the car insurance (RON 428 M, of which RON 186 M for RCA), and life insurance (RON 7.2 M).

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Mircea Geoana wants economic
development consultative council



The Speaker of Senate, Mircea Geoana, wants the setting up of an economic development consultative council, after the model of the council created by the American President Barack Obama, with the participation of the Romanian elites and specialists and a representative of the media, Agerpres informs. “I am inviting you to think together to such a council for the economic revival. It is necessary to stop groping about in the fight against the crisis,” Geoana told the representatives of the Alliance of the Professional for Progress, a formation which organized, under the aegis of the Romanian Academy, the debate “After the crisis – whereto?” The PSD leader declared that he agrees with the measure announced by BNR governor, Mugur Isarescu, regarding the reduction of the budgetary expenditures. He also said that he is against tax rising.


Eurostat: Romania’s industrial
production growth, 5th largest
in the EU in September



In September the industrial production grew both in the European Union and the Euro Area when compared to the level registered in August, despite the fact that the downward trend continued in the annual rhythm, the data presented yesterday by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat) informs. Compared to August, in September 2009 the industrial production in the Euro Area registered a growth of 0.3 per cent (compared to a monthly growth of 1.2 per cent in August), while in the European Union it registered a growth of 0.2 per cent (compared to a monthly growth of 0.8 per cent in August). The highest growth was registered in Ireland (11.2 per cent), Germany (3 per cent), Sweden (1.6 per cent), United Kingdom (1.5 per cent) and Romania (1.4 per cent). The industrial production grew in 7 EU member states, dropped in 11 EU member states and remained stable in the Netherlands.


Expressed in an annual rhythm, in September 2009 the industrial production registered a drop of 12.9 per cent in the Euro Area and one of 12.1 per cent in the European Union. According to the figures offered by the National Statistics Institute (INS), in September Romania’s industrial production grew by 21.3 per cent compared to the month before and expressed as a gross series and by 1.3 per cent when expressed as a series adjusted in relation to the number of workdays and seasonality.

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AVAS ceased the post-privatisation monitoring of 12 companies


The Authority for State Asset Resolution (AVAS) decided to cease the post-privatisation monitoring of 12 companies, among which Mecatim Timisoara and Tremag Tulcea, the institution announced yesterday, according to Mediafax. Thus, AVAS ceased the monitoring of Mecatim Timisoara, privatided in 1998, when Daewoo Automobile Romania assumed the package of shares worth USD 1.23 M, representing 51 per cent of the value of the subscribed share capital of the company. The shares were paid up entirely. The package of shares of Tremag Tulcea, privatised in 2003, which represented 50.97 per cent of the value of the share capital, was sold for EUR 175,000 to the Slovak company Compro spol s.r.o. Bratislava. The shares are now the property of the companies Compro Bratislava and Receta Trading Bucuresti. The development investments, worth EUR 370,000, were confirmed by AVAS, which decided to release the shares which guaranteed for their fulfillment, and the cessation of the post-privatisation monitoring of the contract and the archives of the documentation related to the contract for the sale-purchase of shares.


Romexpo opens 6th
edition of Expomil



World helicopter production leader Eurocopter is showcasing two aircraft at the sixth edition of the military equipment exhibition Expomil that can be visited until November 14. The NH90 (one of the most used models for the tactical transport of combat troops) and Tiger (most modern attack helicopter) prototypes are exhibited at Romexpo.


‘We are proud to present models like NH90 and Tiger to the military experts participating in Expomil. As we all know, the defence industry plays a major role on the local and international stage and our presence comes to confirm the fact that Eurocopter has the broadest and most modern range of helicopters in the world defence industry,’ Eurocopter Romania CEO Jean-Louis Mascle stated.

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Intercontinental, World’s leading hotel brand at World Travel Awards 2009


InterContinental Hotels & Resorts had a successful night at the World Travel Awards 2009 – the most prestigious and sought after awards programme in the global travel and tourism industry, receiving awards for World’s Leading Hotel Brand, World’s Leading New Hotel, as well as 11 other leading hotel categories across different parts of the globe, according to press release. The coveted World’s Leading New Hotel title went to InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City, the group’s first luxury residences in the UAE, specially designed to cater to the needs of extended stay guests.


Guy Marie Charles Poupet to assume
BRD management



The General Assembly of the Shareholders of BRD Societe Generale was called for December 14 for the election of a new administrator of the bank, who is expected to assume the management on January 1, 2010, replacing the current CEO Patrick Gelin, Mediafax informs. “The General Assembly will have on its agenda the election of a new administrator in the place of Mr. Patrick Gelin, starting on January 1, 2010. The candidate proposed for the approval of the General Assembly is Mr. Guy Marie Charles Poupet,” reads a BRD press release published by Bucharest Stock Exchange.


Positive results for ING Asigurari de Viata
and ING Fond de Pensii



For ING Asigurari de Viata and ING Fond de Pensii, the first nine months of the year closed with positive results both in terms of retention of the clients, and the consolidation of the activity in all the business lines – life insurance, private pensions and optional pensions – and the increase of their efficiency. According to a press release in the life insurance segment the value of the financial assets under administration reached RON 1.72 bln at the end of September 2009, up around 11 per cent against the same period of the past year. In the optional pension segment, ING Asigurari de Viata has under administration two optional pension funds, ING Clasic and ING Optim, which totaled after the first nine months of 2009 a number of 68,600 participants, over 36 per cent more than in the same period of 2008. In the first nine months, ING Asigurari de Viata obtained a gross profit of RON 75.5 M, vs. RON 32.4 M in the same period of 2008. In the private pension segment, ING Fond de Pensii managed on September 30 net assets of RON 783 M.


UniCredit Tiriac Bank Records a RON 252 M
net profit



UniCredit Tiriac Bank reports RON 252 million net profit under IFRS, down 9 per cent compared to the same period of last year, a press release informs. Net profit under RAS for the same period is RON 225million, up 4 per cent compared to the same period of 2008. The main difference between the net profits is loan loss impairment due to the still existent differences b/n IFRS and the BNR provisioning rules. Profitability level remains very good within the current economic crisis context and the performance of the market: an annualized ROE of 17% and ROA of 1.8%. The bank continues its upward business performance reporting a 15% year-on-year growth in operating profit to RON 465 M, driven by 10% growth in revenues, but 5% in operating expenses. Revenues are improving in 3Q compared to 2Q by 10%. Cost-to-Income ratio is 47.5%, better than the system, despite the 103 new branches opened in the last 21 months. Solvency ratio is 11.1% under RAS, above the10% norm.

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Government assent Metrorex budget,
sources say



Government assented yesterday the income and expenditure budget for this year of Metrorex company, with the salary rise decided at the end of the past year, official sources declared to Mediafax agency. Interim minister of transports and infrastructure, Radu Berceanu, declared, before the governmental meeting, that the income and expenditure budget for 2009 of Metrorex company will receive on Wednesday the assent of the Executive. “The underground people want rises every year. They stay long there and do not want to see the reality outside. They received a rise of 23 per cent in 2008, and with 26 per cent in 2009 it would already be 50 per cent. I cannot discuss such a salary rise,” Berceanu said. The underground unionists protested on Tuesday and Wednesday, during the government meeting, in front of Victoria Palace, unhappy that the present year budget of the company had not been approved by the Cabinet, and Metrorex administration refuses to begin the negotiations for a new collective labour contract in the conditions in which the old one expired on November 1.


AOAR requests law on international trading of emissions from Parliament


Romania can increase its budget by over EUR 2-3 bln if Parliament adopts, urgently, the law regarding the trading on the Stock Exchange of the additional issues of carbon dioxide, according to the Protocol from Kyoto, declared yesterday Constantin Bostina, vice president of the Businessmen Association from Romania (AOAR).


“Although initially a simple governmental resolution was necessary to begin the trading of the around 350 million assigned amount units (AAU) that it has the right to trade, minister of justice, Mr. Predoiu, authorizes these transactions only if there is a law in this respect. Through the trading of these certificates, Romania can still attract some EUR 3 bln for environment investments that each citizen will feel in his budget, first of all through the cost of electricity,” Bostina stressed.


The money obtained through AAU trading can conduct to the reduction of the price of the electricity supply services, as a result of the promotion of the sources of renewable energy, of the implicit growth of revenues and of the purchasing power, and the improvement of the quality of services offered by the local public authorities in connection with public lighting and public transport.


Private pension funds’
efficiency surpasses 14 pc in last 12 months



According to the data of the Association for Privately Administered Pensions in Romania (APAPR), the mandatory private pension funds (Pillar II) and the optional private pension funds (Pillar III) have registered in the last 12 months an average efficiency of 18.69 per cent and 14.96 per cent respectively, while the inflation rate stood at 4.3 per cent, Mediafax informs. A number of 4.86 million employees had registered within Pillar II by October 31, i.e. 328,000 more than the number of employees that had registered by the end of 2008. ‘Of those, over 1.6 million joined on their own, without being compelled by law, which means they are older than 35,’ the communiqué reads. The net assets managed by the 12 pension funds have reached a sum of approximately RON 2.12 bln on October 31 after registering total gross contributions of RON 1.93 bln in the 18 rounds of collecting.

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Senate Speaker: Parliament to discuss Negoita Cabinet
next week



Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana declared on Thursday that he would call the Bureaus of Parliament next week, most probably on Monday, to discuss Negoita Cabinet, Realitatea.net informs. Geoana was asked when he would call a joint meeting of Parliament leadership to establish the schedule of the hearings of the ministers. “Most probably on Monday,” he answered. On Tuesday, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberta Anastase, declared herself “outraged” by the decision of Senate Speaker to go on holiday and asked Mircea Geoana to return and call the Bureaus, “because neither the IMF nor the crisis keep steady because he is on campaign.” The designated Premier Liviu Negoita declared himself skeptical that any of the ministers proposed to be members of his Cabinet would be questioned before the presidential elections. The skepticism of the designated Premier comes also in the context in which the next week is the last week before the first round of the presidential elections, and both Senators and Deputies are already on holiday to campaign in their constituencies.

Ciuvica: Basescu gave Yassin a commercial space in 2004


The president of the Political Investigations Group (GIP), Mugur Ciuvica, accused Traian Basescu yesterday of having approved in 2004, while mayor of Bucharest, an application by Yassin Mohamad, a business partner of Omar Hayssam, for a commercial space in Bucharest. ‘In October 2004, Traian Basescu gave a commercial space of about 600 sq ms to Dr. Yassin Mohamad, a friend and business partner of Omar Hayssam,‘ reads the GIP release signed by Ciuvica. GIP argued it is in possession of a document sent by the Real Estate Fund Administrative Authority (AFI) with Bucharest City Hall, to the general mayor at the time, Traian Basescu, which ‘proves that Traian Basescu and Dr. Yassin collaborated with each other since as early as year 2004, some months before the journalists were kidnapped.’

Electoral tourism for Elena Basescu


‘Gardianul’ daily published an exclusive sample of electoral tourism from the European parliamentary election in the County of Prahova, on June 7. The former President of the Cornesti (Dambovita County) PDL organization in the mentioned county, Ioan Radu, uncovers what happened with the voters in the locality on the election day, June 7. At least 20 locals were driven by cars to a number of localities in the neighbouring county, Prahova in order to vote for Elena Basescu – now a member of the European Parliament on behalf of PDL – on the additional voters’ lists. Ioan Radu is disclosing how, during the days prior to the election date, PDL Senator of Dambovita Valentin Gigel Calcan summoned 14 county branch presidents to instruct them on how to handle the upcoming election. One of his requirements was that each organisation president should obtain between seven and 12 votes for EBA (Elena Basescu) at each polling station. Calcan also made it very clear to all of them that the order had been passed ‘from the centre’, meaning from the National Standing Bureau of the party.

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