SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Josh Tudela, thrilled
to train with Steaua



American midfielder Josh Tudela arrived two days ago in Bucharest in order to take part in trials for Steaua and stated that he is thrilled to be in Romania and to train with a team as prestigious as Steaua, Mediafax informs. ‘It is good to be in Romania, to train with such a prestigious team. I am thrilled; let’s see what happens next. Steaua is a very good team, it has always played at the highest level. It will be a challenge for me. I know several teams in Romania, I know Toja. I played against him in Major League Soccer back when I was playing for Galaxy and he was playing for Dallas. I haven’t talked to him yet but I think he is a good guy and will help me a lot,’ Tudela stated, adding that he did not hear of Gigi Becali, Steaua’s owner.


Tecau/Daniell qualify for semifinals
in Auckland



Horia Tecau and Marcus Daniell (Romania/New Zealand) have qualified on Wednesday for the semifinals of the doubles event at the tennis tournament in Auckland, a tournament with total prizes of USD 355,500, the competition’s official website informs, being quoted by Mediafax. In the quarterfinals Tecau and Daniell defeated Spain’s Marcel Granollers/Tommy Robredo, top seed number 3, score 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 10-8. In the semifinals Tecau and Daniell will play against Johann Brunstrom/Jean-Julien Rojer (Sweden/Netherlands Antilles). Brunstrom/Rojer had previously defeated Leander Paes/Lukas Douhly (India/Czech Republic), top seed number 2, score 6-2, 6-3.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Ion Cristoiu and
‘Jurnalul National’ cease collaboration



Ion Cristoiu has discontinued collaboration with ‘Jurnalul National’ daily where he had a daily column, the journalist told Mediafax on Tuesday. ‘Our agreement expired in December and was not extended. It’s been a silent separation from ’, Ion Cristoiu explained. He also said he had started working for the daily nearly four years before. ‘We began our collaboration some four years ago. (…) I was on holiday, but the editors in charge should have normally contacted me to agree on how to proceed, on the deadline for my column, but they didn’t. By that, my last connection with the Intact media trust was ended, because ‘Jurnalul National’ was my only remaining link to the trust,’ Cristoiu said. On September 7, 2009, Ion Cristoiu joined the ‘Adevarul’ daily commentators’ team where he has a weekly feature. Cristoiu has been also working for the free newspaper ‘Ring’ since September 1, 2009.


Mihai Chitac to be released from jail
for two months



The Bucharest Court Martial on Tuesday suspended Mihai Chitac’s sentence for a period of two months starting with February 15 when he is scheduled to undergo surgery. The Court granted Chitac’s motion for a suspension of the service of his 15-year sentence in the Timisoara Revolution case. The former general will be temporarily released from the Jilava Prison for surgery on February 15. The Court Martial’s decision may be appealed against in the Court Martial Appeal Court. On Tuesday, the Court received the new forensic medical report that had been requested by the parties.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Elena Udrea removes ANL general manager from office


Elena Udrea, Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, removed from office the general manager of the National Housing Agency, Jean Vraciu, and cancelled the procedure of acquisition of off-road cars by ANL, Mediafax informs. Former PDL Vrancea senator, Jean Vraciu was appointed director of the National Housing Agency at the beginning of October last year. According to Elena Udrea, in a year characterized by financial constraints, the ministry cannot afford extravagant acquisitions. Udrea wants to continue and accelerate in 2010 the projects of investments in infrastructure started up in the past years, the acquisition of off-road cars being not one of the priorities of the ministry.


Japan lends Romania EUR 315 M to build
the Bucharest-Otopeni subway line



The Japanese Government will lend about EUR 315 M to Romania, for the construction of a subway line connecting Bucharest to the Henri Coanda International Airport, Mediafax reports. Transport Minister Radu Berceanu met yesterday the Japanese Ambassador in Bucharest, Natsuo Amemiya. The Nippon diplomat informed Berceanu that the Government of Japan decided to grant Romania a ‘Japanese ODA Loan’ for the expansion of the Metrorex grid to Otopeni.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

S&P could improve Romania’s rating after budget approval


The rating prospects of Romania could be improved, in the conditions in which Parliament is getting ready to vote the 2010 budget, which would unfreeze the funding agreement with the international institutions, the rating agency Standard & Poor’s announced, the daily ‘Romania Libera’ informs. “Romania’s rating could stabilize at the current level. The prospects will be improved if the public finances are consolidated, if the access of the private sector to foreign funds is improved, and if the pressure on the banking sector decreases,” Marko Mrsnik, S&P analysts, said. PM Emil Boc promised that the budget would be voted until January 15. The rating agencies S&P and Fitch lowered Romania’s rating to BB+ with negative prospects, which places the country among those which are inappropriate for investments.


BNR: Pawnshops may not grant
property-secured loans



Pawnshops may only sell loans secured against movable assets that may be kept until the full repayment of the loan, the Romanian Central Bank (BNR) warns, following up on press reports suggesting more and more pawnbrokers require real estate as collaterals. The Civil Code also stipulates that ‘Pledging is a contract by which a debtor places a thing in the hands of the creditor as security for his debt, meaning that real estate property may not be pawned. According to BNR, the press has reported on the fact that various non-banking financial organisations such as pawnshops give loans secured against property and present that as ‘absolutely legal’ business practice to clients.


Citi: BNR to lower 1.25 points key
interest rate in 2010



BNR will probably reduce the policy interest rate by another 1.25 percentage points this year, to 6.25 per cent, but the degree of aggressiveness of the central bank will be influenced by the implementation of the economic programme established with IMF, the political stability and the evolution of the exchange rate, Citi analysts believe. “The surprising decision adopted by BNR in January suggests that the institution is satisfied with the recent evolutions in the political arena and the progress achieved in connection with the IMF agreement,” shows a Citi report, assumed by Mediafax. The analysts consider that the central bank tends to relax the policy earlier, in order to take advantage of the recent positive developments.


Prigoana chooses new domains of activity


Silviu Prigoana opens new affairs. Rosal Group sanitation company, controlled by the businessman Silviu Prigoana, will extend starting this spring its domain of activity through the cultivation of grains and the trade with exotic pets. “It is a difficult year and we try to develop in new domains. We intend to enter agriculture, through the cultivation of cereals,” declared Valentin Dobre, general manager Rosal, quoted by Mediafax. He added that a new segment in which Rosal will operate will be the trade with exotic pets. “We mean animals like snakes, parrots or squirrels,” Rosal manager said. Rosal Group registered a turnover of RON 129.4 M and a net profit of RON 5.3 M in 2008, according to the data available on the site of the Finance Ministry.


Trains for 2014 Olympics: Siemens takes EUR 580 M order


The Russian Railways (RZD) and Siemens have concluded an agreement for the delivery of 38 Desiro electric trains for regional passenger transport during the 20014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, according to a press release from Siemens. The agreement is for the delivery of 54 modular electric trains worth EUR 580 M. The final order of about EUR 410 M has been already placed for the first 38 items to be produced at the Siemens plant in Krefeld, Germany. The preliminary agreement for the remaining 16 trains includes their partial building locally, in Russia.

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