BUSINESS
Romania's government expected to introduce tax on sugar rich beverages, increase cigarette excise The Government is expected to adopt on Monday an ordinance introducing new economic measures, including a new tax applied to beverages with a high level of sugar, official sources have said. The tax would be applied starting September 1.
Enel may sell part of assets in Romania, but said to plan keeping majority stakes - sources Italian company Enel is said to consider the selling of assets it holds in Romania, amounting to Eur1 billion, for which three investment funds are interested, according to Money.it website quoted by Romanian media. Market sources have told HotNews.ro that the talk is not about selling majority stakes, but possibly of minority ones, along those held in Enel companies by the Proprietatea Fund.
Apple Pay made available for clients in Romania Apple Pay expands to 16 European countries including Romania. Card users here will be able to make online purchases with the new tool, which is available on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac for clients of multiple banks and payment services in Romania.
Telekom Mobile receives RON 1.1 million fine Romania's telecom supervising authority ANCOM has fined operator Telekom Mobile Ron 1.1 million over an incident in March this year, when its network was affected for more than the allowed 35 minutes of unavailability, according to HotNews.ro.
​EXCLUSIVE What royalties will be paid by Exxon, OMV, Lukoil and other companies that will export Black Sea gas. Plus: how many Romanian employees they should have, what kind of approvals are needed and what fines are received by institutions that do not give the authorizations on time ​Companies exploring and exploiting oil and gas fields in the Black Sea will have a normal royalty regime, and will pay the quota currently provided in the law or in the contracts concluded with the Romanian state, according to a draft law adopted by the Government. The project consulted by HotNews.ro also states that these companies (already exploring in the BlackSea are Exxon, OMV, Lukoil) have to have at least a quarter of Romanian employees and have to get approvals from 9 institutions, including the General Staff of the Army and the Foreign Ministry.The draft was adopted by the Government last week and has already been sent to Parliament for debate and adoption.
Romania's oil and gold resources placed in hands of former meat merchant and tax inspector The National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), an essential institution that manages the resources of gas, oil and ores, has a new chief: Gigi Dragomir, 50, a man with no experience in the sector. Gigi Dragomir is an inspector in the County Public Finance Administration in Ilfov county. In recent years, he has participated in ANAF exams for a number of positions, but has failed them. Prior to becoming a fiscal inspector, he worked for a number of companies dealing with the trade and distribution of food products.
Playing with the economy: How did the ruling coalition in Romania alter the business environment with inadequate decisions and with totally or partially withdrawn initiatives "Stop this fiscal and budgetary hopping," addressed President Klaus Iohannis to the Social Democratic Party (PSD) , Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) parties, on June 29, at the Tudose Government Investment ceremony. The president's request was totally ignored in the three-month governance of the Tudose Cabinet.
​Renewable energy: Romania and legislative instability The Romanian business environment is currently in turmoil due to the recent series of legislative acts amending Romanian law in the field of energy, specifically renewable energy. This is keeping investors far from Romania and has driven already established investors away.
Gunther Oettinger, on the failure of Nabucco West: The decision was based on commercial deliberations, to put it bluntly: money talks / The European Commission remains neutral in this kind of situations and treats all investors the same European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said in an interview for HotNews.ro that the failure of Nabucco West in the competition for the Azeri natural gas was "a commercial decision" of the Azerbaijani consortium. "To put it bluntly: money talks", declared Oettinger, explaining why Azerbaidjan was more attracted by the winning bid of the TAP project. Asked if the decision of the Azerbaijani consortium was a victory of Russia against the EU, the commissioner said "I would certainly not put it that way" and explained that the European Commission remains neutral regarding the competition which could reduce the dependence of Southeastern Europe on gas imports from Russia.
Romanian government presents program: Average economic growth of 3% in 2013-2016, budget deficit below 3% The newly designated government of Romania, formed of the Social Liberal Union (USL) alliance and led by Victor Ponta, eyes an average annual economic growth of 3% for 2013-2016 and maintaining an ESA-system budget deficit of under 3% until 2016, according to the USL governing program, published by the government on Thursday. On fiscal policies, the government says it plans to provide transparency for public funds, to simplify the tax system, to return to a 19% VAT and introduce progressive taxation.
Romania's Competition Council launches investigation among media agencies The Romanian Competition Council has launched an investigation on the local media market, eyeing media buying and planning agencies, the institution announced in a press release on Monday. The investigation is related to a possible deal among companies in this sector with the purpose of eliminating competitors in media agency pitches. The investigation is related to a newly formed Media Club, an entity announced recently by ten major media agencies in Romania.
Romanian business: Why death of business founders often lead to company collapse​ While family businesses have a history of hundreds of years internationally and many of them long outlive their founders, a tendency among private companies in post-communist Romania shows that the death of their founders meant insolvency in many cases. Top local companies such as Aldis or Edy Spedition are such cases where businesses faced serious financial troubles following the death of their initiators. What makes the local market different for such a tendency to occur?
Multinational group Naspers invests in Romanian e-commerce company eMag Multinational electronic media group Naspers takes over 70% of major Romanian online retailer eMag, as announced in a notification to eMag partners, obtained by HotNews.ro. eMag, a 500-employee company which had a business figure of 145 mln euro in 2011 end expects 180 mln euro in business for 2012, confirmed the deal in a press release later on Monday.
Romania Competition Council launches investigation on possible abuse of dominant position against Hewlett-Packard Romania / HP officials say they'll cooperate with authorities Romania's Competition Council has launched unannounced checking operations at the headquarters of Hewlett-Packard Romania and at the headquarters of several of its distributors, the authority announced on Wednesday. Council head Bogdan Chiritoiu said the move comes following suspicions of a possible HP Romania abuse of dominant position on the market, sparked by a discriminating behaviour in relation with one of the company's partners.
Romanian PM Emil Boc: 2011 macroeconomic targets reached. Growth stood at "almost 2%", budget deficit at 4.4% ​Romanian PM Emil Boc announced on Wednesday that the Government reached the macroeconomic targets for 2011 "without troubles". The economic growth, he said, stood at "almost 2%", as compared to the targeted 1.5%, while the budget deficit target of 4.4% was reached.
Latest on Nokia's Jucu factory closure: Contract still secret / Nokia chief dismisses rumors on Moldova plant / Economic effects As Nokia announced the closure of its plant in Jucu, Cluj county on Thursday, four years after its arrival in Romania, a three-party contract on the Jucu factory signed by Cluj county authorities, Nokia and the Tetarom industrial park remains secret. That comes against Romanian legislation and despite calls that the contract be made public. HotNews.ro first demanded the disclosure of the contract as early as 2007, but without results.Also: Nokia head Stephen Elop on Moldova factory rumors, local views, economic effects
It's official: Nokia factory in Jucu, Romania to close, all employees to be laid off ​Nokia's factory in Jucu, Romania closes in 2011, Nokia confirmed in a press release on Thursday. The information was first circulated by HotNews.ro and local news outlets in Cluj, quoting sources within the company. The Nokia press release says the closure in Jucu, Cluj county will affect some 2,200 people and says the measure was due to the need to optimize production processes, with priority given to factories in Asia.
Dacia and Renault to recall 5.000 cars due to potential faulty engine parts Dacia and Renault brands will voluntarly recall nearly 5.000 cars in Romania to check if some problems could occur at some engine valves, the representatives of the two brand said for the Romanian automotive magazine 0-100.ro. Logan and Sandero from Dacia and Twingo and Clio from Renault are some of the models included in the recall concerning mainly cars produced at the end of 2010. From the start of the Lolgan program seven years ago Dacia made just two significant recalls: one in 2005 and another in 2008.
Incapable state: the troubles and causes of failure to sell stake in OMV Petrom oil company A recent attempt of the state to sell 9.84% of shares in major Romanian oil company Petrom (majority owned by OMV) has failed as investors who responded to the offer managed to underwrite less than the 80% of the shares, which was the minimum required. Let's presume the Government led by Emil Boc really wanted to sell the Petrom stake (If they only claimed so to please the IMF then people responsible should be judged for high treason). The failure of the Petrom share sale filtered through a government crowded with impotent officials: from the politically semi-illiterate PM Emil Boc to Florin Vladan, an obscure official who negotiated on Romania's behalf despite not even Google has ever heard of him. One should not forget catastrophic Economy minister Ion Ariton, one of the weakest ministers of the past two decades. Let's consider the causes of the failure one by one.
Romanian PM Boc at talks with IMF delegation head Franks: We're out of recession but need to be cautious and not return to populism While Romania is out of recession this is not the time for champagne and it should keep the pace of reform and avoid the mistakes of 2008, Romanian PM Emil Boc said at the beginning of talks with representatives of an IMF, European Commission and World Bank delegation to Romania.

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