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April 16, 2021
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NEWS IN BRIEF

Tennis: Tecau victorious in Marrakech


Romanian tennis player Horia Tecau won the doubles event of the challenger tournament in Marrakech, a tournament with total prizes of EUR 106,500. Tecau teamed up with Serbia’s Ilija Bozoljac. In the semifinals Tecau and Bozoljac defeated Czech Republic’s Leos Friedl and David Skoch (top seed 2), score 6-3, 5-7, 13-11. In the final, Tecau and Bozoljac defeated America’s James Cerretani and Canada’s Adil Shamasdin, score 6-1, 6-1.


Oltchim vs. Gyor
in CL semifinals



Oltchim will face Gyor ETO in women’s EHF Champions League semifinals. Gyor ETO finished group 1 on second place. Viborg will play against Larvik in the other semifinal. The Champions League semifinals are scheduled on April 10-11 (first leg) and April 17-18 (return leg). With Ramona Maier and Cristina Neague absent, Oltchim lost its away-game against Viborg, score 26-33. Despite that result, Oltchim finished the group on first place.


League I: CFR 1 – Pandurii 0


CFR Cluj managed to defeat Pandurii, score 1-0, thus putting an end to the streak of four games without a win. The former Romanian title holders deserved to win but their game had room for improvement. The goal was scored in the 25th minute when fullback Alcantara headed the ball in. Yssouf Kone, former Rosenborg striker, missed the game’s biggest goal scoring chances in minutes 4, 11 and 47. In another leg 23 game, Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt defeated FC Brasov at home on Saturday, score 2-1 (2-1 at half time). Rwanda’s Jimmy Mulisa (16th minute) and Moldova’s Eugeniu Cebotaru (25th minute) scored for Ceahlaul. Visitors complained that the second goal was scored from offside. Macedonia’s Savic scored for visitors in the 23rd minute.

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Gov notifies Audits Court over former IICCMER heads


The Government has notified the Court of Audits over the activity of National Liberal Party-affiliated former directors at the now-joint Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania and the Memory of Romanian Exile (IICCMER). Accusation aim at unjustifiably high-priced foreign travels, illegal procurement contracts and money losses. Illegality accusations are included in an audit by inspectors with the General Secretariat of Government (SGG) on institute’s activity in 2009 and the first two months of the current year, obtained by Mediafax.


Year 2009 through March 2010, the institute had been run by Marius Oprea, president, Lucia Hossu-Longin, general secretary, and Stejarel Olaru, general manager. Dinu Zamfirescu had been the head of the National Institute for the Memory of the Romanian Exile during the same period.


Necolaiciuc speaks from behind bars


The former manager of Romanian Railway Company, Mihai Necolaiciuc talked in premiere with ‘Evenimentul zilei’ daily, and used the opportunity to warn Geoana, Hrebenciuc and Vanghelie that “he knows what everybody has smoked,” though only his pocket “smelled of cigarettes.”


Necolaiciuc said nothing that might damage his defense in the extradition case he faces in the United States, but launched another veiled threat to some heavyweights of Romanian politics: “Being here, I could not react (in the electoral campaign) against Hrebenciuc, Geoana, Vanghelie, but God sees everything!” The correspondence between ‘Evenimentul zilei’ and Mihai Necolaiciuc went on for several months, while the former manager was held at the Miami Federal Detention Center. Necolaiciuc answered the invitation to dialogue, but avoided spectacular confessions: “This is not the right time. I am innocent and will return home to prove it.”

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Natural gas consumption up 1.8 per cent against December


National consumption of natural gas grew by 1.8 per cent to 1.9 billion cubic metres in January compared to December, and by 12.2 per cent compared to the first month last year, according to data provided by the National Authority for Energy Regulation (ANRE) and quoted by Mediafax. Expressed in MWh, the consumption stood at 19.76 million MWh in January 2010.Electric and thermal energy production sector accounted for 28.17 per cent of the total consumption, followed by physical persons (27.73 per cent of total consumption) and other industrial consumers (12.98 per cent). According to ANRE, the internal production natural gas covered 81.76 per cent of the consumption. Romgaz and Petrom, the top two producers, covered 98.45 per cent of internal production. “The difference of 18.24 per cent was made up of imports, both current and stored. The top three importers with an import market share of over 20 per cent each totaled 76.19 per cent of the imports,” an ANRE report points out.


Romania, 31st in world’s top 50 gold-hoarding countries


According to a World Gold Council report quoted by Reuters, Romania is 31st among the world’s top 50 gold-hoarding countries, Mediafax informs. Its official reserves of 103.7 tons represent 0.34 per cent of a world total of 30,190.1 tons. The United States is first with 8,133.5 tons (26.9 per cent of world total), followed by Germany (3,406.8 tons) and the International Monetary Fund (3,005.3 tons). Italy, France, China, Switzerland, Japan, Russia and The Netherlands are among the top ten countries. Greece outranks Romania with 112.4 tons, with Romania being followed by Poland with 102.9 tons. Romania, Poland and Slovakia (48th with 31.8 tons) are the only Central and East European states present in the table.


EC to analyze convergence
programs from ten states, including Romania



The European Commission (EC) will analyze on Wednesday the convergence and stability programs filed by ten member states, including Romania, the EC informs. Here are the other countries whose convergence programs will be analyzed by the Commission: Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Poland. European sources contacted on Friday by Mediafax have stated that the program was green-lighted by the Romanian Government during its last meeting and that an informal variant had already circulated within the Commission. Based on the evaluation that will be followed by the Economic and Financial Committee’s review, the EC will address the Council of the EU. The latter will formulate an opinion on each country’s program. The Council’s opinion could suggest certain actions that should be taken.


38 pc less pollution than allowed last year


Romania last year polluted 38 pc less than it would have been allowed by the Kyoto Protocol, so holders of pollution certificates – state or private entities – might trade the unused vouchers, worth a total EUR 380 M, on foreign exchanges, at market value. According to Mediafax, polluters were left 29 million unused green certificates, which sell at EUR 13 on commodities markets abroad. “The main drivers for this decrease were lower industrial output and economic restructuring,” said Mircea Cotosman, state secretary in the Ministry of Environment. Under the Kyoto Protocol, between 2008 and 2012, states must curb each year by 8 pc their carbon dioxide emissions, compared to the 1989 level. For each year of the interval, the Protocol allocates Romania a pollution quota of 75.9 million tonnes of CO2. As Romanian industry released in the atmosphere little over 47 million tonnes in 2009, the surplus of pollution rights might be sold.


Chinese investors to build
generator group at Rovinari power plant



China National Electric Equipment Corporation is interested in building a generator group of 500 MW at Rovinari power plant, upon investment worth an estimated EUR 1 bln, the investment manager of CE Rovinari, Vasile Tudorescu announced after a meeting with Chinese company officials. A delegation of China’s biggest state company specializing in power industry equipment came to Targu Jiu on Saturday, to discuss the project with local administration. According to the investment manager of CE Rovinari, Vasile Tudorescu, it took the Romanian plant a year of talks with the Chinese partners before reaching this stage of negotiations. The chances of success are very high, even after CE Rovinari will be included in the future power corporation Electrica, he mentioned. According to the internet site of CE Rovinari, installing a new power group of 500 MW is provided by 2009-2010 development strategy.


Three-month road charge
from August 1



The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) will introduce as of August 1 a three-month road charge vignette on a yet to be set quantum, Transport State Secretary Eusebiu Pistru told Mediafax. For now, drivers may buy one-day, seven-day, 30-day or one-year vignettes, for 3 to 1,210 euros depending on motor vehicle type. The drivers lacking the documents attesting payment shall pay the National Road Companies between 28 and 1,210 euros, depending on the type of vehicle, and fines of RON 250 to 4,500. The indemnification amounts will be counted as outside-budget revenues of the National Company of Motorways and National Roads in Romania (CNADNR) and are equal to a year’s charge.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Blue Air increases Bucharest-Arad flights, as of May 1


Blue Air will step up its flight frequency on the Bucharest-Arad route from five to six each week, following a higher demand for this destination, the low-cost carrier announced recently, according to Mediafax. The new flights, operational as of May 1, will be scheduled on weekdays and Sunday, at prices starting from about EUR 40, airport fees included. The move is part of the company’s decision to become more active at home. In Romania, Blue Air also operates flights between Bucharest and the cities of Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca. The Romanian-based airline reported a 50 pc increase in the number of passengers it carried, to 1.7 million.


BNR will take forex-denominated state bonds as guarantees


Starting with April 19, banks will be allowed to provide National Bank (BNR) with state bonds in foreign currencies, as collateral to money market operations, at a haircut (percentage that is subtracted from the par value of assets being used as collateral) of 8 per cent, the central bank announced on Friday. According to a release, the Central Bank will take as guarantees forex-denominated state bonds issued by Ministry of Public Finance on the domestic market. The central bank will provide loans to all banks, via repo and Lombard credit operations, so an 8 pc margin has been set, that will apply to the face value in RON. Banks will calculate the face value of the bonds they bring as guarantee, at the exchange rate announced by BNR the previous working day, while the resulting total value will have to cover both principal and interest. Furthermore, BNR will allow banks to transform the intraday repo into a Lombard credit.


Diosi, OTP Bank: Interests to deposits will reach 6 pc at the end of the year


Clients did not stop saving money, which shows they learned to live in conditions of recession, and realized they can only survive if they have investments, said the CEO of OTP Bank Romania, Laszlo Diosi, quoted by Mediafax. According to the same source, interests to bank deposits will reach 6 pc at the end of 2010. For this year, OTP Bank plans to curb the ratio between credits and deposits, increasing the credits by an average 8 pc and the deposits by over 20 pc. Diosi considers that Romanians learned how to pay their installments and regroup their expenses. On the same occasion, he said that the bank plans to further increase its profit this year. Asked whether OTP Bank will resume the expansion of its territorial network, Diosi answered that 2010 is not a good year for investments in new units. “Until the existing facilities get used 100 pc, it is unnecessary to invest in new ones,” the OTP Bank Romania official explained.


Uniqa subscriptions drop 4 pc in 2009, to RON 486.6 M


The subscribed insurance premiums collected by Uniqa Asigurari dropped by 4 pc in 2009, to RON 486.64 M, while the sums paid as claims rose by 4.8 pc, to RON 409.51 M, according to preliminary data announced by the company, Mediafax reports. “CASCO-type facultative insurances hold first place in the Uniqa portfolio, with subscribed premiums worth RON 267.31 M, which accounts for an approximate 55 pc of total subscriptions. Premiums from mandatory civil liability car insurances (RCA and Green Card) rose by 3.3 pc, up to RON 163 M at the end of last year,” Uniqa Asigurari writes in a release. Also last year, the company paid claims worth a total RON 409.51 M, against RON 390.63 M in 2008.


Metro might purchase stake held by Ion Tiriac


German retailer Metro and Ion Tiriac agreed last year over the price per share, if the businessman decides to exit shareholding of Romania’s largest retailer, with sales worth EUR 1.23 bln, Mediafax reports. These days, Metro released for the first time information about a possible acquisition of the stake held by Tiriac in the local cash & carry network. “In the fiscal year 2009, the minority shareholders in Metro Cash & Carry were granted the right to sell their stakes in the company to Metro, at a put option. Acknowledging this right in the accounting books resulted in a goodwill worth EUR 27 M,” Metro Group writes in its annual report. Ion Tiriac is the minority shareholder in the local network of Metro Cash & Carry, via the company Zareba Holdings SRL, registered in Cyprus.


‘Cash for clunkers’ programme
for tractors



The first edition of the ‘cash for clunkers’ programme for tractors was initiated. Owners who want to bring in their old tractor in return for a price cut are expected at local auto recycling centers, Mediafax informs. Unlike the ‘cash for clunkers’ program for automobiles, in this case only a single voucher worth RON 17,000 can be used when buying a new tractor. Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely recently announced that 17 producers and distributors of tractors have already signed up for the program. In 2010 the state has at its disposal RON 100 M for the ‘cash for clunkers’ program for tractors.

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