SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Rugby: Romania, only a draw against Russia


Romania’s rugby team drew against Russia, 21-21, in the European Nations Cup, at Sochi, on Saturday. The Romanians would have needed at least a nine-point victory to qualify directly to the World Cup, which means they have to come third in the group to play a playoff round. Russia was ahead 18-8 at halftime, and their victory helped them book their place in the World Cup. Russia will take on Georgia in their race for the top position in the group table.


Soccer friendly against Israel
on Wednesday



Romania coach Razvan Lucescu Saturday evening announced the line-up for Wednesday’s friendly game against Israel. Today, the national team will present their new sports equipment at a Bucharest shopping centre.


Oltchim player, injured


Clara Vadineanu, a 23-year-old forward on women’s handball team Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, suffered a crossed ligament injury in her knee and will be unfit to play in the next six matches.


She will undergo surgery for her condition. Valentina Ardean Elisei, too, has a similar injury, dating back to the team’s Champions league game against Zvezda. She underwent surgery in November last year, which prevented her from taking part in yet another World Championship, after that in 2007.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

First victim of a dog receives damages worth EUR 5,000


A woman is to be paid damages worth EUR 5,000 by the owners of a dog who bit her. The Bucharest Tribunal today set a premiere for this kind of lawsuit, by admitting the victim’s claims and ordering the owners of the animal – which was killed meanwhile – and the relatives in whose yard the incident occurred, to pay EUR 5,000 as damages, though the woman had initially sought EUR 75,000. The Court ruled that the payment can be jointly made by the two defending sides. The sentence can be challenged in the Bucharest Court of Appeals. This is the first case of a victim being paid damages by a dog’s owner, in a civil lawsuit.


Romanian sailor,
in danger



A Romanian sailor embarked on the ship named ‘Rim,’ captured by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean on February 2nd, announced his girlfriend by phone that the pirates threaten to kill him tonight, if they do not receive the ransom for the ship. The girlfriend of sailor Virgil Teofil Cretu urged authorities to intervene and save his life, Mediafax reports. Mariana Andrei claims she received, on Friday, a phone call from his boyfriend, who told her that the pirates threaten they will start to kill the hostage sailors if they are not paid the ransom today.


Most of Bucharest potholes filled up


Most holes in Bucharest streets have been filled in, though there a few streets where overhaul works will be finished in the next few days, according to the city’s mayor, Sorin Oprescu, who toured the streets to see how constructors did their job. “We can tell Bucharesters that most of the street holes have been filled in. There are still a few streets riddled with holes, which will be filled in over the next few days,” the general mayor announced after touring Bucharest’s main streets, together with City Hall inspectors and officials with the Street Management Authority. The areas inspected Saturday included Kogalniceanu Square, Eroilor, Prelungirea Ghencea Blvd., boulevards Turda and Mihalache, Victoria Square, Nicolae Caranfil, Aviatorilor, Arcul de Triumph Square, Constantin Brezan boulevard, Ion Mincu St and Magheru Blvd.


Most streets along those routes have been overhauled, with a few exceptions, such as those around the Casin Monastery Church. Bucharest’s mayor underlined that work has been completed on 110 streets, with the streets under the maintenance program to be definitely asphalted and those yet to be rehabilitated to have emergency fill-ins in place until repair works get off the ground.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Cosmote Romania launches
new subscription



Cosmote Romania launches today the “Perfect for you” subscription, a product which allows users to configure subscription based on their own communication needs. The new package results from the division of Cosmote Real Option subscriptions into separate packages, at an individual tariff, and includes several free of charge national and international minutes or text messages in the network. According to a press release, the new subscription portfolio consists of a standard tariff plan of EUR 4.5 per month (plus VAT).


OMV Petrom
hikes fuel prices



OMV Petrom increased the price of gasoline by RON 0.06 per litre, and the cost of diesel by RON 0.03 per litre, as a result of international oil product quotations’ evolution, the company said on Friday. Thus, leadfree Premium and Top leadfree Premium 99+ gasoline will cost RON 4.08/litre, respectively RON 4.45/litre, while OMV Carrera 95 and OMV Carrera 100 will cost RON 4.22/litre and RON 4.85/litre. The Top Nordic Diesel will be sold for RON 4.01/litre, while OMV Sprint Diesel for RON 4.05/litre.


EUR 18 M provisions
to close down Doljchim Craiova



OMV Petrom (SNP) set up provisions of EUR 18 M in order to close down the chemical plant Doljchim by the end of the year, according to the 2009 financial report of Austrian group OMV. The provisions are related to Doljchim restructuring, demolition of installations and land decontamination efforts. The company also announced that the planned revision of Petrobrazi Ploiesti refinery will start in the first half of April, for a period of one month. Petrom also said that it would cut Petrobrazi refining capacity to 4.2 million tones every year, as a result of market conditions.


Andrei Gheorghe,
no longer adviser
in Finance Ministry



Andrei Gheorghe on Friday stopped working as an adviser to Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu, a position he held for less than two months. “We bring to your attention that starting today, February 26, 2010, the Public Finance Ministry has ceased contractual relations with Mr. Andrei Gheorghe,” a press release from the institution says. The ministry makes no further comments on the issue.


Forced execution of Astoria Hotel begins


Orhideea Gardens company on Friday at noon started the forced execution of Astoria Hotel. Both employees and some clients accommodated in the hotel were forced out of the building by gendarmes, although the execution had been suspended by a Sector 1 court until it is to make a verdict. The next court hearing in the appeal filed by hotel owner, Societatea Feroviara de Turism, is scheduled on March 2. Orhideea Gardens representatives, quoted by Antena 3, say that all their procedures were legal, subject to an irrevocable decision of execution.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

BCR: Operating earnings up 32.1 pc
last year



BCR posted 32.1 per cent operating earnings increase to RON 3.26 bn for 2009 compared to 2008, following ongoing earning generation and adequate cost control, the bank informs in a press release. Operating earnings was up 18 per cent to RON 4.97 bn, primarily supported by the 26.2 per cent higher net revenue from interests totalling RON 3.8 bn. At the same time, BCR cut operating expenditures by 2 per cent to RON 1.7 bn as a result of the better cost management in a context where additional costs were generated by the expansion of the retail network, development of alternative channels, card activity and IT system, as well as by the investment in BCR Banca pentru Locuinte last year. At bank level, the asset value recorded slight increase from RON 64.5 bn on December 31, 2008, to RON 64.53 bn. In 2009, the bank registered an increase in the total volume of client loan portfolio by 3.3 per cent to RON 46.53 bn. The BCR Group net profit after tax and minority interests last year dropped by 2.3 per cent compared to 2008, from RON 2.03 bn to RON 871 M, because of the higher provisioning expenditures and smaller revenue from commissions. The BCR Group number of employees last year dropped by 9.7 per cent.


BRD, first position in top brokers


BRD-Groupe Societe Generale brokerage division kept the first position in the top brokers in February, after it made transactions of RON 780.23 M on all the markets managed by Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), holding a market share of 26.23 per cent, Mediafax informs. Moreover, BRD will apply for a ceiling through the “First House” which will allow it to maintain a quota of 30 per cent of the programme, Philippe Lelarge, strategy and marketing manager with the bank, said. BRD granted 3,800 real estate credits through the “First House,” with a total value of EUR 135 M, representing a market share of over 30 per cent. The degree of recovery of the bad loans with guarantee rises at BRD to 95 per cent of the value, the president of the bank, Guy Poupet, declared. Limiting the economic growth at around 1.5 per cent would represent healthy recovery, after the abrupt correction from 2009, BRD chief economist, Florian Libocor, considers. He believes that Romania will follow with a certain delay the EU trend, but will close 2010 with a growth the double of the European average, estimated at 0.7 per cent.


INS: Industry to become stable in February-April


Company managers estimate for February-April 2010 a relative stability of the activity in the processing industry, a moderate reduction in services and a fall in constructions and in retail, against the three previous months, according to an INS opinion poll. For the prices of the industrial products they predict a moderate growth in the next three moths (circumstantial balance +6 per cent). In constructions there will be a downward trend in the next three months for both the volume of production (circumstantial balance -22 per cent), and the stock of contracts and orders (circumstantial balance -22 per cent). The activity in the retail trade is predicted to decrease in February-April 2010 (circumstantial balance -16 per cent). In all the four domains the number of employees is expected to fall.


Romania-the biggest monthly inflation in EU


Romania recorded in January the biggest growth of the consumer prices in the European Union, 1.7 per cent vs. December 2009, the indicator for the whole community dropping 0.5 per cent, according to Eurostat data. Sixteen of the EU states reported a decrease of the consumer prices in January against December. The biggest growths, except Romania, were recorded by Hungary (1.5 per cent), Lithuania and the Czech Republic (1.2 per cent). Italy (-1.5 per cent), Belgium and Cyprus (-1.4 per cent), and Spain (-1.1 per cent) registered the most significant falls. In connection with the growth of the annual inflation rate from January, Romania ranks second in EU, with a rate of 5.2 per cent, lower only than that from Hungary, of 6.2 per cent. The average of the community block is 1.7 per cent. In the Euro area, region which rallies the biggest economies from the Union, the consumer prices dropped in January vs. December by 0.8 per cent. In terms of annual rate, inflation rose 1 per cent.


Dan Sandu, new CEO
of MKB Romexterra Bank



Adrian Radu retires in March, upon the expiry of his mandate, from the office of executive president of MKB Romexterra Bank, the management of the bank being set to be assumed by Dan Sandu, presently executive vice president. “At the end of the second term and after six years at the head of MKB Romexterra, Adrian Radu (aged 44) will leave the bank in March. His successor at the head of the bank is Dan Sandu (aged 41), who will coordinate, starting in March 2010, the new executive decision structure of the bank and the new strategy of the majority shareholder, MKB Bank from Hungary,” reads a press release of the credit institution. Radu worked for Romexterra since 2004 and monitored also the transition of the bank after its takeover by MKB in 2006.

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POLITICS

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Gov’t prepares regulation
on Romania-Ukraine border limit



Government will discuss on Wednesday emergency regulation meant to clearly trace the border between Romania and Ukraine, in Satu Mare, Maramures and Suceava borders. By the new delimitation, a surface of 240 km of forests will be cut off, the minister of interior Vasile Blaga announced on Sunday during a Government HQ. “Careful consideration on three counties, Satu Mare, Maramures and Suceava, because we shall submit on Wednesday to Government an emergency ordinance which will make it possible to clearly delimit the border between us and Ukraine. We have to practically cut off a 20 m strip along 240 km of forest. We have to do it and we shall do it until the end of this year,” Blaga told prefects in a video conference organized on Sunday at Victoria Palace. He also recalled that the strategic objective is to fulfill the objectives of accession to Schengen Space on March 27, 2011.


FM pays working visit to Hellenic Republic


The foreign minister Teodor Baconschi today pays a working visit to Greece, MAE informs. During his visit, the Romanian foreign minister will have meetings with George Papandreou, prime minister and foreign minister of the Hellenic Republic, and with Dimitris Droutsas, alternate foreign affairs minister of the Hellenic Republic. The discussion agenda includes the stage of the bilateral relations between the two countries, and the regional problems, with an emphasis on the developments from the Western Balkans, and the cooperation in the Black Sea areas, including the projects considered within the Black Sea Synergy and the dialogue within the sub-regional cooperation structures. During talks, parties will also approach problems of present interest from the European agenda, such as the economic and financial crisis, EU enlargement, energy security and the Eastern Partnership.

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