BUSINESS
Romanian Finance minister: A cut in social contributions for employers currently analyzed The current Labor code has to be changed as more flexibility on the labor market cannot be accomplished without a cut in social contributions, Romanian Finance minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu said during a conference on Wednesday. He said authorities were analyzing the scenario as labor costs in Romania were high and many have claimed the government was not supporting firms.
Economy Ministry: Romania Government to privatize Oltchim next year The Romanian Government has initiated procedures for the privatization of Oltcim SA Ramnicu Valcea chemical company, the Economy Ministry announced on Tuesday. It showed that according to a draft letter of intention agreed by the Romanian Government with the IMF, World Bank and the European Commission, the Oltchim privatization is due to be launched in the first half of 2012.
INTERVIEW Romania Economy ministry may remain with 51% stake in most important state company Hidroelectrica Romanian energy company Hidroelectrica may be listed as early as next year should the strategy establishing two major energy groups, Electra and Hidroenergetica, fail before the end of 2011. Packages of 10-15% of Hidroelectrica shares will be put on offer gradually so that the Romanian state retain a minimum of 51%, Hidroelectrica, general manager Constantin Trihenea has told HotNews.ro in an interview. He said all direct contracts concluded by the company with influential people known locally as "the smart guys" - intermediaries in energy deliveries - have been prolonged.
Over 10 Romanian companies to attend the IT fair CeBit Hanovre Over ten Romanian companies will attend the most important European technology fair, CeBit Hanovre that starts on March 2nd. Among the companies are the producer of the AllView tablet and the producer of Smailo GPS. The National Software Industry in Romania claims that compared to 2009, the IT industry regained its balance together with the interest of foreign investors.
ZEW and Erste survey: Romania’s economic perspectives for the next six months improved The perception of financial analysts on Romania’s economic evolution for the next six months improved in February as Romania was place on fourth in Central and Eastern Europe in a perspectives survey conducted by Zentrum fur Europaische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) and the Austrian Erste group, Romanian news agency Mediafax reports.
Rockefeller Group plans to invest over 100 million euro in the real estate market in the region including Romania  Europa Capital, member of the American Rockefeller Group plans to invest over 100 million euro in the real estate sector in the region, including Romania, Novinite reports. The private equity fund, targeting mostly the real estate market, already purchased a commercial park at Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city for 20 million euro.
Oxford Economics revises previous estimates and forecasts that Romania’s economy will grow this year  Romania’s economy will marginally grow this year by 0.1% Oxford Economics estimates read, quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax, revising thus previous estimates which saw a 1% contraction. The institution reveals however that the main economic growth factor, exports, is in the same time vulnerability if EU demand decreases.
In 2010, the economy decreased its contraction to 1.2%  Romania’s GDP in the fourth quarter for 2010 was in real terms, higher than 0.1% than in the third quarter in 2010. Compared to the last quarter in 2009, the GDP registered a 0.6% decrease on gross series and by 0.5% on adjusted series. In 2010, compared to 2009, the GDP (gross) decreased by 1.2%, a press release of the National Statistics Institute reads. The signal is good, some analysis estimating a contraction up to - 1.9% annually. The contraction rate decreased considerably and only the VAT increase blocked the economy from going on positive numbers, Macroanalitica managing partner Laurian Lungu said for HotNews.ro.
Lotus to open showroom in Romania  British sports brand Lotus will open a showroom in Romania starting this year, officials declared, quoted by 0-100.ro. According to industry sources, Lotus cars will be brought in Romania by the Cazac famility, that controls the Forza Rossa company, importing Ferrari in Romania.
Current account deficit increased by 5% in 2010 to 5.15 billion euro  The current account deficit of the balance of payments increased last year by 5.0% compared to 209 to 5.15 billion euro, Romania’s National Central Bank data reports. In 2009 the current account deficit was 4.91 billion euro.
Foreign direct investments dropped b 25.5% in 2010 to 2.59 billion euro  Foreign direct investments amounted in 2010 to 2.59 billion euro, a 25.5% decrease compared to last year, Romania’s National Central Bank data reports. In 2009 the FDI value was 3.48 billion euro. Direct investments of non residents in Romania financed by 50.3% the current account deficit in 2010 which amounted to 15.5 billion euro.
PM Emil Boc invited China to invest in Comarnic – Brasov and Sibiu – Pitesti highways PM Boc invited Chinese businessmen to invest in Romania in a series of projects that will be conducted in a public-private partnership, like the Comarnic Brasov highway or the Sibiu – Pitesti highway. The offer was launched during a meeting between the PM and representatives of the Chinese state, to mark the new Chinese year. According to sources who attended the meeting PM Boc invited Chinese businessmen to invest in hydro plants, road belts surrounding cities, airports, hospitals, and irrigation and environment projects. PM Boc underlined that the ministries are open to develop such partnerships.
Romanian Economy minister: IMF demands liberalization of prices for natural gas and electric energy Economy minister Ion Ariton declared that the IMF demanded the liberalization of prices for natural gas and electric energy and asked for a new calculus formula for them, Romanian news agency Mediafax reads.
Finance minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu: Romania has enough money for pensions and salaries in 2011 and 2012 / IMF and EC appreciate the good results of our country Romania has enough money for salaries and pensions and this year it has all premises to exit the recession considering the budget revenues and indicators, Romania’s Finance minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu declared, quoted by the Romanian news agency Mediafax.
Budgetary deficit of 33.3 billion lei at the end of 2010, below the limit set with the IMF  Romania’s general consolidated budgetary deficit amounted to, at the end of last year, to 33.3 billion lei representing 6.5% of GDP below the limit agreed with the IMF, a press release of the Finance ministry reads. The deficit target in the supplementary letter to the stand by agreement with the IMF was of 34.6 billion lei.
Competition Council investigates a possible agreement between Rompetrol Gas and its suppliers  Competition Council launched an investigation to check whether there was or not an agreement between Rompetrol Gas and its distributors on the market for liquefied gas. Any form of agreement hinders competition and affects the interests of the consumers, President of the Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu said.
A Romanian to lead the center in charge with the market studies for future Dacia and Renault products Romanian Liviu Ion will manage, starting this Fall, the center for market studies of Groupe Renault in Bucharest, which conducts market research in the Euromed region for all future Renault products. The center picks up feedback from clients to find out what they believe about models that will be released in four – five years. Liviu Ion was chief of communication at Dacia in the last six years and his position will be occupied by Anca Oreviceanu.
Innova Capital takes over Provus Services Provider and RomCard Private Equity fund Innova Capital took over 96% of the shares of Provus Services Provider and its subsidiary , RomCard from Turkven Private Equity and a consortium of Turkish investors, a press release of the company reads. This is Innova’s third direct transaction in Romania after the acquisition of Orange Telecom in 1999 which it sold to France Telecom and after it took over La Fantana in 2008.
An IMF/WB/EC delegation arrives in Bucharest for the seventh evaluation mission  IMF, World Bank and European Commission representatives start on Tuesday, in Bucharest, their seventh evaluation mission of the stand-by agreement and negotiations for a new possible agreement.
A Ford supplier invests 58 million euro in a car parts factory in Oltenia  International Automotive Components Group, IAC, one of the main suppliers of car parts for Ford Motor Company will invest 58 million euro in a factory at Bals, Olt county. The factory will produce various parts for Ford Craiova, the company announced. It will employ 400 employees and the Romanian state will offer 17 million euro as aid for the project.

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