Generous offer for Mutu from Qatar

If he leaves Fiorentina this summer Adrian Mutu will be sought by Qatar’s Al-Sadd, a team that offers him a salary of EUR 6 M per year, writes. According to Calciomercato, the Romanian player is among the ten players that will leave Fiorentina at the end of this season. For the time being Mutu is temporarily suspended after testing positive for sibutramine. The hearing in his case is scheduled on April 19.

Steaua head coach
suspended two legs

Mihai Stoichita has been suspended for two legs by LPF’s Disciplinary Commission, thus missing out the team’s away game against Bistrita and home-side game against Poli Iasi. The decision was taken after the head coach was sent off for inappropriate behavior during the leg 25 game against FC Brasov (1-0). Moreover, Stoichita received a RON 2,300 fine.

FELT bicycles enter Romania

FELT Bicycles, one of the most important premium brands of bicycles in the world, is now present on the Romanian market through Bucharest-based ‘Mos Ion Roata’ importer. ‘We chose to sell FELT because we mainly wanted a performing bike that is used in the Tour of France too. If it is used in the Tour of France it is part of the elite and we want that for the Romanian market,’ Emil Bituleanu, manager ‘Mos Ion Roata,’ stated. FELT is the sponsor of 5 teams and 15 individual bikers at world level.

Romanian players score in Europe

AJ Auxerre’s Romanian striker scored his team’s equalizer in its home-side game against Paris Saint Germain, a game counting for leg 31, score 1-1. The result keeps Auxerre on third place, in a tie with Lyon (which defeated Rennes, score 2-1) and Montpellier (goalless draw against AS Monaco). Romanian striker Ciprian Marica scored another goal for VfB Stuttgart in the game it won against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, score 2-1. The game counted for leg 29 of the German league.

Newcastle gain promotion to Premier League

Newcastle United gained promotion to the Premier League without playing on Monday after Nottingham Forest’s failure to beat Cardiff City in the Championship (second division). A 0-0 draw between Forest and Cardiff meant league leaders Newcastle, who were facing Sheffield United later, are guaranteed to finish in one of the two automatic promotion places to secure an immediate return to the top flight.

Vettel wins Malaysian GP for Red Bull

Germany’s Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix in a Red Bull one-two finish on Sunday. Australian Mark Webber, who started on pole position, finished 4.849 seconds behind as runner-up with Germany’s Nico Rosberg taking third place for Mercedes.

Cambridge come from behind to beat Oxford in boat race

Cambridge came from behind to beat favourites Oxford by a length and a half in the 156th university Boat Race on the Thames on Saturday. Cambridge, with four Englishmen, two Americans and three Canadians, lagged Oxford by a quarter of a length early on but powered back in a winning time of 17 minutes and 35 seconds.

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Air France and KLM launch BlueBiz in Romania

New Air France and KLM joint loyalty programme for SMEs BlueBiz was made available in Romania yesterday, according to a press release. So far, the airlines had their own loyalty programmes for the segment. As a member of the BlueBiz programme, the company gathers Blue Credits when an employee flies with Air France or KLM. Entry to programme is not conditioned on a minimum number of trips and membership is valid for minimum two years, being automatically extended as long as the company employees continue to fly.

Blue Air to cut number of flights to Vienna
on April 27

Low-cost air operator Blue Air says it would reduce the number of flights on the Bucharest-Vienna route from 12 to nine round trop flights per week in the period from April 27 to October 30. Blue Air operates more than 50 European routes in 14 countries, with a fleet of 11 aircraft. The company controlled by businessman Nelu Iordache last year reported EUR 140 M business, up 12 per cent compared to 2008, in the context of launching new flights, increasing fleet and entering into partnerships.

Carpatair introduces flights to Verona, Bologna, Milan and Venice in May

On May 17, Carpatair is introducing flights from Bucharest to Milan (Bergamo), Verona, Bologna and Venice, with a frequency of up to six per week, the air cline informed yesterday. Carpatair will operate six flights per week to Venice, Monday to Friday and Sundays, and five flights per week to Milan. The Verona and Bologna destinations will be served by three flights every week.

Cosmote bills paid with GarantiBank

Cosmote telecommunications bills can no be paid in cash at any of the 51 GarantiBank Romania agencies in the country, the bank informs by press release. The new service is offered to Cosmote users – individuals or businesses, bank customers or not – free of charge. They can pay their own bills and other users’ bills. The payment is accepted against the bill. In a subsequent stage in the development of the service, GarantiBank will expand the methods of payment for Cosmote bills by adding alternative channels such as ATMs, internet banking and direct debit.

Siemens to connect Petrom station in Brazi to grid for EUR 18 M

State-owned Transelectrica has awarded to the consortium made up of Siemens Osterreich and Siemens SRL a contract of EUR 18.1 M (RON 74.5 M) for the connection of the thermal power station OMV Petrom (SNP) is developing at Brazi (Prahova County) to the national power grid. Transelectrica awarded the contract by negotiation without participation notice on March 30. The Siemens consortium was the only bidder, the company informs.

AT&T to invest in Romania this year

US giant AT&T is investing this year in the expansion and/or modernisation of electronic communications networks in a number of countries including Romania, according to a group release. The EUR 1 bln investment plan AT&T presented yesterday includes increasing capacity of providing services to large companies, expanding operations aimed at US-based SMEs and expanding the group’s global network. AT&T will implement or refurbish network hubs in view of introducing new technologies including those that grant customer access to gigabit ethernet.

Bechtel postpones layoffs until after April 15

US company Bechtel that builds the Transylvania Motorway has postponed layoffs until after April 15 when the number of people to be dismissed is also to be decided. The labour union threatens to challenge layoffs in court. Nicolae Fenesan, Executive Secretary of the General Federation of the ‘Familia’ Union that includes the ‘Transylvania’ Union of Bechtel workers has told Mediafax he had received informal notice that the company would let go a total of 1,450 employees starting with April 15. He accused Bechtel of ‘defiance’ as long as it continued layoffs procedures despite of their being declared illegal by the Labour Inspectorate in Cluj.

Campofrio to pay EUR 12.3 M for 49pc of Caroli Foods

Campofrio will pay EUR 12,3 M and will cede shares in Romanian subsidiary Tabco Campofrio in exchange for 49 per cent of Caroli Foods Group, company created by the merger of Romanian operations held by the Spanish group and by Caroli, Mediafax informs quoting a notification to the Madrid Securities Board. At the beginning of March, the two companies announced they had concluded an operation merger agreement in the form of a joint venture that was to become the biggest processed meats producer in Romania with EUR 120 M turnover and 16 per cent market share.

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Kuwait’s NBK interested in stake in Turkish bank

Kuwait’s largest lender, the National Bank of Kuwait said on Tuesday it was interested in acquiring a stake in Turkey’s Garanti Bank. NBK’s chief executive, Ibrahim Dabdoub, told Reuters in an e-mailed statement that NBK was looking to expand in Turkey and a share in Garanti Bank was “one of the options” it was looking at. Subject to strict regulation since a 2001 domestic financial crisis, Turkish banks weathered the global recession extremely well, turning in large profits as they benefited from sweeping interest rate cuts by the central bank.

BVB, on third position
in a ranking on the
evolution of markets

The Bucharest Stock Market (BVB) rose with almost 30 per cent in the first quarter of the year, HotNews informs. Thus, it ranked third in a ranking which includes 81 states. The capital markets in Ukraine and Estonia advanced with 58.87m respectively 41.36 per cent, in the January-March interval, according to the figures of British research company Bespoke Investment group. Of the 81 countries analyzed by Bespoke, only 12 are on the low this year, the biggest slump, of 31.4 per cent, being held by the Bermuda stock market. In Central and Eastern Europe, the Hungary stock market rose with 17.26 per cent, the one in Latvia with 16.91 per cent, and the one in the Czech Republic with 9.44 per cent. Boasting of a mere 5.27 per cent rise since the beginning of the year, USA ranks below the average of the 81 states, which is 6.94 per cent. Among the G7 states, Japan has the biggest rise, 6.62 per cent, followed by Great Britain – 6.13 pc, USA, Germany – 4.67 pc, Canada – 3.14 pc, France – 2.49 pc, and Italy, slumping with 0.18 per cent. Russia had the best evolution among the great emerging economies, boasting an 11.38 rise, followed by Brazil – 3.61 pc, and India – 1.3 pc. The Chinese capital market ebbed with 3.96 per cent.

CEC Bank cuts interest for personal loans with life, unemployment insurance

CEC Bank’s interest rate for the personal loan including life and unemployment insurance will be reduced from 12.15 per cent to 10.4 per cent, with zero origination commission, between April 6 and June 30, 2010, the bank said in a press release. The value of the loan granted within the promotional offer is increased from RON 15,000 to RON 40,000 and the maturity term from 48 months to 60 months. The interest rate inclusive all loan costs calculated for a loan of RON 40,000 granted for a maximum of five years is 14.93 per cent, with 12-month grace period. In addition, CEC Bank charges no penalty for early repayment. The personal loan including life and unemployment insurance does not require down payment, endorsers or a mortgage and applicants need not produce documents to justify why they need the loan.

UniCredit launches 9.75 pc home
mortgage loan

The UniCredit Tiriac Bank has started a new RON home mortgage loan program for home buyers or people willing to build their home. The loan is taken at an interest of 3.25 per cent, adding to which is a ROBOR interest calculated every three months, which brings the actual annual interest to under 10 per cent, according to a press release by the bank. This means, a loan-taker will only pay a monthly installment rate of RON 973 for a 30-year RON 120,000 loan. The bank has also launched a personal needs mortgage loan whose interest is calculated as a ROBOR every three months, adding to which is another 5.25 per cent. The product is aimed at funding personal needs or as a refinance loan.

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House searches in Romania, USA and the Czech Republic, within an investigation regarding Internet scams

Several dozens of persons have already been brought to hearings, following the investigation coordinated by DIICOT. More than 800 victims were identified, and the suffered losses were estimated at EUR 800 000.

Approximately 200 people are targeted by the investigation which included 101 house searches in Bucharest, Valcea, Teleorman, Timis, Arges, Prahova, Brasov, Constanta, Dolj, Giurgiu, Suceava, Botosani, and Bacau, sources from the judiciary argued, quoted by NewsIn. House searches related to the same case took place in the USA and the Czech Republic.

According to the sources, the investigators hope that 70 of the approximately 200 people in question to be investigated in custody. Following the house searches in Bucharest, 15 persons suspected of Internet scams were taken to the DIICOT headquarters – the central structure, and are to be transferred to DIICOT Valcea for hearings. At the DIICOT HQ – the Valcea territorial office, 70 persons were taken in for hearings.

The DIICOT prosecutors, together with police and gendarmerie officers, managed to break three organized crime groups, specialized in Internet and e-commerce scams, which produced losses estimated at EUR 800 000. Since 2006, the group acted on the territory of several states: Spain, Italy, France, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, the United States of America, Canada, Switzerland. More than 800 victims were identified. About 70 people were taken in for hearings, following the searches. The DIICOT prosecutors collaborated with FBI and Secret Service agents, from the Bucharest US Embassy.

Wall falls on tram rail, traffic restricted

The wall of an old house on Calea Mosilor, in the Capital’s Sector 2, crumbled on Tuesday, causing a temporary restriction of the traffic, to continue along a single lane. Road traffic was restricted on the first driving lane, on Calea Mosilor, up to the intersection with Hristo Botev, a Tuesday release of the Bucharest Traffic Police Brigade shows. There were no victims following the incident, and the area was sealed off. The building is in a state of extreme degradation, and its front and roof crumbled Tuesday morning, shedding debris up to the tram rail. The sector 2 mayor, Neculai Ontanu, announced on Tuesday that responsibility for the wall crumble on Calea Mosilor lies mainly with the owner, but also with the Bucharest City Hall, since it is one of the city’s heritage areas.

The mayor thinks the City Hall should have taken necessary measures a long time ago to prevent such an incident, given that the local administration notified it in writing of the poor state of crumbling-risk buildings in the heritage areas. “The owner risks criminal charges for the failure to maintain the Calea Mosilor building. It is a heritage area and, in this case, the higher responsibility rests with the owner, while the right to take note of the poor states of buildings rests with the City Hall,” Ontanu explained. The mayor said that there were other such shaky buildings, also on Calea Mosilor, mainly buildings that were claimed by previous owners and then neglected. Neculai Ontanu added that the persons resident in the building were evicted, because they were living there illegally.

Romanian army officials learn Chinese

Since early February ten Romanians are busy deciphering the enigmas of the Chinese language at the ‘Carol I’ National Defence University. A teacher sent by the Chinese Army is helping them in their endeavor. This is the first military laboratory of its kind opened as a consequence of the cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and an EU member state. ‘At first we focus on the phonetics, on the correct pronunciation of characters,’ Major Chen Chao explains. The Major arrived in Romania at the end of February. He states that the talent and hard work shown by the persons with whom he works has surprised him. ‘They’ve already learned 50 characters in two weeks’ time. It is amazing,’ Chen Chao stated. The Chinese professor will remain in Romania until the end of the year, plenty of time for him to explain the hidden meaning of other Chinese characters. However the nine months are not enough. ‘Despite the distance separating them, relations between Romania and China were almost always good. The apex was naturally reached during the communist period but the relations did not cool off significantly afterwards. At least the military cooperation was smooth. And that explains the recent step. Romania is the first European country in which we open this kind of military lab. We have Chinese language learning centers in Southern and Central Asia. Apart from that we dispatch only instructors,’ Chen Chao explains.

Major Laurentiu Truia states: ‘I believe that China will become a great power in the future and I am interested to know as much as possible about this country.’ The Major wants to be able to speak basic Chinese, no more. Until then he struggles to associate Chinese characters with words. In Romania there are approximately 450 persons that study the Chinese language. In Bucharest alone there are 80 advanced students, the Chinese Embassy representatives inform. Apart from the new class, there are several other centers for the study of the Chinese language: the Chinese Language Department within the Bucharest University, the similar department within ‘Spiru Haret,’ the one within the Confucius Institute of the Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu and the departments of the ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University in Cluj-Napoca and Iasi.

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