Romania’s merger and acquisitions market has reached EUR 258 in the first quarter of 2018, a significantly lower amount compared to the same period of last year, according to an analysis by Deloitte Romania cited by local media.
However, considering transactions with undisclosed amounts, the total value of the M&A market looks similar to the same period of last year, reaching between EUR 500 and 600 million.
Deloitte officials say that despite the slow start, the market will back itself and start the positive trend in the months to follow.
Source: Deloitte Romania market study.
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Romania’s fiscal policies and poor infrastructure and bureaucracy are making the country noncompetitive, the foreign investors’ council in Romania, FIC, said on Friday.
The massive investments anticipated by policy makers will fail to materialize unless trust is rebuilt, FIC said in a statement accompanying its annual business sentiment index survey.
A total of 53 of FIC’s 122 members responded in the survey.
Some 38% of the survey respondents said that the local business environment has significantly worsened recently, while 42.3% think it has deteriorated slightly. Only 7.7% see a significant improvement recently in the local business environment.
Some 14% expect their revenues to contract in 2018, up from 11.2% in March 2017.
Source: FIC official statement.
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Romania, EU: Salaries dropped while productivity went up, according to calculations of the European Union Institute
The Romanians’ salaries should have been 25% higher in 2016, if they were according to labour productivity, calculations of the European Union Institute and the European Union Confederation, made public by Cartel Alfa show.
The study shows that salary increases in EU in the last 16 years should have been four times higher than fully reflected by productivity increase.
“Between 2000 and 2016, productivity grew three times more than salaries in Germany and Croatia and twice more than salary growths in Poland and Belgium. In Austria, productivity grew by 65% more than salaries, by 60% in Spain and 30% in Holland,” the study shows.
In Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Greece, real salaries dropped in the last 16 years, while productivity went up. In Romania, productivity grew by 10% while salaries dropped by 15%, the study shows.
“Salary increase was left behind. Workers do not get the right part of their work’s value. The big difference between productivity increase and salary increase offers solid proof of the need for salary increases for workers throughout Europe,” said Esther Lunch, confederate secretary of the European Union Confederacy.
“In Romania, the elimination of collective contracts at national level and the impossibility to conclude collective contracts at sector level influenced the evolution of salaries negatively, especially in the private sector. At company level, only 1 out of 20 employees in the economic sector benefit from provisions of a collective labour contract,” the press release shows.
Source: European Union Institute press release.
Asociația Energia Inteligentă and Energy World magazine organized at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bucharest the Round Table with the theme: The formation of the natural gas market in Romania, having invited Aura Sabadus – Editor, Turkish Energy Hub Daily, Press Agency ICIS London.
Here are some of the main ideas that have emerged:
ICIS is a gas company operating in London, with the most widely used reference for Europe’s gas spot markets, the largest price base for the European gas and global LNG market in the world and the largest team specializing in gas, electricity and LNG reporters.
Developing a gas market involves going through some stages towards maturity:
Factors that determine the success of establishing a gas market are structured as follows:
Gas transactions grew in Europe due to the accelerated liberalization process in most Member States, so OTC traded volumes increased by about 400% between 2011-2016 and total volumes traded in 2016 amounted to over four trillion cubic meters.
It turned out that one can say about a market that is liquid if:
There is a large and varied number of market players
Products are traded several times before delivery (liquidity is measured by the so-called ‘churn ratio’)
The price difference between supply and demand is very small, facilitating market trading
In Romania there are many barriers to the development of gas markets:
Lack of diversification of resources
Monopoly (state or private)
Lack of transparency
The evolution of the market is strongly correlated to how reference prices can be set in a market.
The conclusions of the debate have highlighted that Romania is today an IMMATURE market, which has many steps to go before reaching the state of MATURE market.About the author: Dumitru Chisalita Engineering Faculty, profile: Utilisation of Natural Gas, “Lucian Blaga” University, Sibiu. The Management of Petroleum, University of Petroleum and Gas Ploiesti. Doctor’s degree study, profile The Utilisation of Natural Gas, “Oil and Gas” University, Ploiesti. Tehnical expert authorized of Ministry of Justice for oil and gas.
Gas and power company E.ON Romania and the National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-RO) signed a cooperation protocol aimed mainly at exchanging cybersecurity intelligence, E.ON Romania said in a release.
The protocol also provides for support for cybersecurity risk awareness campaigns and the facilitation of expert information exchanges.
We take risks related to incidents or cyber attacks very seriously. The digital systems in our power transmission grids can be targeted by such attacks with highly serious potential consequences on the security of supplies and substantial losses to the company. At the same time, we are aware of the obligations incumbent on us regarding the protection of key energy systems and of collected and managed data, says E.ON Romania CEO Frank Hajdinjak.
Under the protocol with E.ON, CERT-RO expands its network of partners in the energy sector against the backdrop of the transposition into national law of the Directive on the adoption of measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the EU (the NIS Directive). The transposition law will set in place minimal security requirements and notification requirements for service operators in several essential sectors: energy, transportation, utilities, the banking system, health care, financial markets and digital infrastructures.
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During 1.I. – 28.II.2018, primary energy resources increased by 1.3%, while those of electricity decreased by 1.3% as compared to the same period of previous year.
Romania’s energy industrial consumption increased by 3.8 percent in the first two months of the year as compared to the same period of last year, whereas the demand on behalf of the population dropped by 11.2 percent, according to data released on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
Public lighting also recorded a decrease of 7.8 percent. Overall, Romania’s final consumption of energy slightly went up, by 0.3 percent, as compared to the January-February period 2017.
The own technological consumption in networks and plants was by 7.6 percent lower, the electricity exports dipped by 5.1 percent and the import also decreased by 14.9 percent.
The overall energy output slipped by 0.7 percent, the greatest set-back being recorded in the photovoltaic industry. The hydroelectric power plants generated by 8 percent more electricity, and the nuclear power plants, by 0.7 percent more than in the first two months of 2017.
At the same time, the main resources of primary energy increased overall by 1.3 percent, the internal production decreased by 2.4 percent and the resources import was by 7.4 percent higher. Coal imports and the crude oil ones increased the most by 63 percent and 20 percent respectively. Natural gas imports dropped by 22 percent.
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Romania will assume a renewable energy target of around 35 percent for 2030, but green energy production in new capacities should no longer be subsidized, Doru Visan, state secretary at the Ministry of Energy, stated on Wednesday during a press conference.
In his view, green energy generation technologies, especially in the wind energy sector, have evolved a lot lately, so they can withstand in the market without subsidies.
“Renewable energy must be defined as an option already taken, as a necessity for which mankind has opted, and the European Union is a promotion leader, and Romania as a Member State complies with. It must be seen as an expensive energy, that is the truth, but necessary,” Visan explained.
At the beginning of this year, the European Union Parliament voted to increase its renewable energy goal for 2030 from a goal of 27 percent to a new target of 35 percent. European Parliament also agreed on increasing the EU’s energy efficiency target to a minimum of 35 percent — binding for the EU as a whole but indicative for national targets — and a move to ensure that 12 percent of the energy consumed in transport comes from renewable energy sources.
In the next period there will be negotiations on the target that each state will take, but this target can not differ by more than 10 percent from that voted by the European Parliament, meaning it will be no less than 31.5 percent.
Romania has a renewable energy target of 24 percent for 2020, which it has already reached since 2016.
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Romania needs to decide urgently if it wants to use the Black Sea gas in the domestic industry or just wants to obtain income from the transit of the natural gas on its territory, the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) officials said on Wednesday, romaniajournal.ro informs.
“It is crucial to know how Romania’s economy will look like in 2030 or 2050 and a possible energy strategy relying on this economic vision is needed. Because it’s one thing to have a few million consumers – of electricity, gas, heat – and to shape an energy system on household consumption, and it’s another thing to have a service-based economy and again is another thing if you think you’d want an industry that consumes significant amounts of energy,” said Zoltan Nagy-Bege, ANRE Vice-president, digi24.ro informs.
He added that Romania will have much to gain if the decision to extract gas from the Black Sea is made.
“It is obvious that these projects come with a plus, whether we talk about the Black Sea gas extraction or the BRHA pipeline. We should decide what we should do with this gas surplus. We just want them to transit Romania to the west or south, or we would like to consume the gas in Romania. Obviously, the transit of gas brings added value to Romania, but if the gas is consumed by the industry and something is produced, the added value is incomparably higher than from the simple transit services,” Nagy-Bege said.
According to him, a decision on this should be urgently made, as the Black Sea gas production is expected to start in 2020-2021.
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State sell-off fund TAIPED on Thursday opened the way for the consortium of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas and Belgium’s Fluxys to acquire 66 percent of Greece’s gas grid operator DESFA, thereby strengthening the southern Europe energy axis built around the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
TAIPED on Thursday accepted the consortium’s offer of 535 million euros. The bid was also accepted by the governing board of DESFA’s other stakeholder, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), which is conceding a 35 percent stake in the company alongside the state’s 31 percent.
The ELPE board decided to call a general shareholders meeting for May 14 to approve the stake’s concession to the consortium, which, as TAIPED noted in its statement yesterday, is subject to approval by the competent regulating authorities.
It should be noted that the consortium of the three European companies has not further improved its financial offer, as TAIPED had asked it to this week. The three firms issued a statement confirming their consortium is the preferred bidder while stressing Greece’s strategic position in the Mediterranean and its potential to evolve into an important hub for energy diversification.
The joint press release
The European consortium consisting of Snam, the majority shareholder with an interest of 60%, together with Enagás (20%) and Fluxys (20%), confirms that it has been awarded the tender arranged by the Greek Agency for privatization (TAIPED) for the purchase of a 66% stake in DESFA, the national operator in the natural gas infrastructure sector.
DESFA manages, under a regulated regime, a high pressure transport network of approximately 1,500 km, as well as a regasification terminal at Revithoussa. Snam, Enagás and Fluxys, shareholders of the TAP project, will be able to boost the development of the Greek gas infrastructure system in the coming years, fully realizing the potential of Greece as a natural gas hub, which will further leverage the development of the domestic market as well as other transit initiatives.
Furthermore, the consortium will be able to transfer technical and operational capabilities to DESFA and develop new uses and sources of natural gas (such as methane for transport and biomethane) to make a crucial contribution to the country’s emission reduction process.
Thanks to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Greece could represent an important crossroads for the diversification of supplies and the opening of new natural gas routes in Europe.
TAIPED accepted an offer of 535 million euro for 66% of DESFA share capital presented by the consortium last week. Discussions have started with a pool of Greek and international banks to secure a non-recourse financing package for the acquisition.
In 2017, DESFA reported significant growth compared to the previous year, with an EBITDA of approximately 177 million euro, also benefiting from non-recurring tariff items, and a positive net financial position of around 5 million euro (including available cash of approximately 228 million euro).
The signing of the agreements for the acquisition is subject to the completion of the further steps envisaged by the tender procedure and by local legislation on privatization, while the closing of the transaction is expected in the second half of the year, following the required authorizations including antitrust clearance.
The industrial platform of the RAFO Onesti refinery, which has become insolvent again in autumn last year, will be put on sale on April 27, 2018. The starting price is USD 50.57 million. The company has to pay debts of over RON 330 million.
The first auction took place on April 13 with a starting price of USD 59.75 million, but no offers were registered, according to e-energia.ro and capital.ro.
The receiver, Transilvania Group Insolvency House, has put up for sale the entire industrial platform comprising the two refineries to process crude oil, according to CAEN Code 1920.
The company was built as an integrated system, so the necessary utilities are partially secured within the Borzeşti platform (thermal energy, 75% of the combustion gases, nitrogen and industrial and instrumental air) and partly purchased (electricity and make-up water). The refinery also has access to rail and road transport.
The first auction on April 13 had an initial starting price of USD 59.5 million plus VAT (USD 70.8 million in total) as a result of the market valuation, with the indication that Rafo Onesti will not be ceded below the liquidation value of USD 29.75 million plus VAT, i.e. 50% of the market value.
The electric energy tariffs for household consumers might drop for the first time, in order to recover the damage caused by the cartel of distributors, who had exaggerated the prices in recent years, Bogdan Chiriţoiu, president of the Competition Council (CC) said.
“For the first time a public auction organizer, Electrica SA, has been sanctioned because its employees have facilitated the cartel. These agreements have led to additional costs for end consumers, which paid higher electricity bills, and we will work with the Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) to recover the damage,” Bogdan Chiriţoiu said at the conference launching the Competition Council report for 2017.
“We want, for the first time, together with ANRE, to recover the damage caused to the consumers – the companies have transferred these damages to their clients. We talk about years when prices have been exaggerated, basically since the privatization of energy distribution,” the president of the Competition Council said.
According to him, these damages can be recovered by decreasing the distribution tariff in the future. “It’s hard to give compensations for the past, but I believe ANRE can tell the companies that they will not increase the tariff by ‘X’ RON, but they will increase them by ‘X/2’ RONi, because it is to recover a past injury. We’ve recommended ANRE to reduce these tariffs and ANRE has asked us for the support to accurately assess the damage to be recovered,” Bogdan Chiriţoiu added.
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European households and businesses will have to recycle at least 55% of their municipal waste by 2025, according to stricter new rules passed by the European Parliament, euractiv.com reports.
The legislation is part of a review of a series of directives agreed with the member states to improve the European economy’s ‘green credentials’. After the Parliament’s plenary vote, the Council will have to give its final consent.
After 2025, the recycling target will increase 1 percentage point every year to reach 65% in 2035.
The EU produced 2.5 billion tonnes of waste in 2014. One-third came from the construction sector and only 8% from household consumption.
Member states’ practices vary enormously. Only 8% of household waste is recycled in Malta, while in Germany the figure is as high as 66%.
But on the whole, Europeans are recycling more. For comparison, Western EU countries (EU15) recycled 55.6% of their packaging in 2004 and 67.8% in 2013.
The legislative package also includes a proposal for packaging and packaging waste, for landfill of waste, and dumped vehicles, waste batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
As part of the lengthy negotiations with the Council, MEPs pushed for more ambitious targets for recycling packaging materials and landfilling.
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The European Commission supports the EUR 1.13 billion railway modernization program in Romania until 2020, according to the Romanian Railways Company, C.F.R.
The EC has approved seven financing requests from C.F.R. within the C.E.F. Transport 2014-2020 program.
One of the most important such projects is the Brasov – Sighisoara railway connection, for which CFR has received two financing grants worth EUR 1.11 billion.
Source: Romanian Railways Company public statement.
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Romania: FSDI strategy to be approved. Fund is to own Electrica, E.ON, OMV-Petrom and Delgaz stakes, among others
Romania might have another large investment fund, as the Romanian Senate approved on Wednesday, April 18, the proposal to create the Sovereign Development and Investments Fund (FSDI).
The fund, worth some EUR 400 million, would hold minority or majority stakes in 23 state companies, down from the initial proposal of 89. Fund managers would have four-year mandates, based on the 2011 law on corporate governance, local media reported.
The fund would submit activity reports to the Finance Ministry rather than to the Parliament, as initially proposed. The state would not offer this fund any guarantees or support of any kind.
The Government would approve the fund’s investment strategy, with a focus on infrastructure and innovation, among others. The Finance Ministry would draft and evaluate long-term performance indicators.
The Government proposed stakes in the following companies to be part of the fund: Electrica, Delgaz Grid SA, E.ON Energie România, Chimcomplex, OMV Petrom, Telekom România, Antibiotice SA, Compania Națională pentru Controlul Cazanelor, Instalațiilor de Ridicat și Recipientelor sub Presiune, Loteria Română, IAR SA, Oil Terminal, Cuprumin, Unifarm, SN Apelor Române, Compania Națională Administrația Porturilor Dunării Maritime, Romgaz, Hidroelectrica, CN Aeroporturi București, Nuclearelectrica, Imprimeria Națională, Compania Națională Administrația Porturilor Maritime and Conpet.
Romania is almost reaching its target for the share of renewable energy in total national energy consumption for 2020 – 24%. However, for reaching the 2030 target, significant changes in legislation are needed fast in order to attract new investments in renewables capacities. And they have to come together with storage systems.
With nearly 3 GW installed in wind power capacities, Romania was at the end of 2017 under the target in the national renewable energy action plan (3.6 GW). Romania has considerably exceeded its proposed target of installed solar capacities – 1.35 GW, compared to 0.2 GW. However, in a recent analysis, Martin Moise, vice-president of PATRES pointed out that the overall target of 24% of total energy consumption is mainly attributable to the very high share of firewood heating, which is measured in statistics as a contribution from biomass. In order to get closer to 35% – the target for the share of renewable energy in total national energy consumption for the year 2030, a strong and accelerated increase of the contribution from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass) is needed in near years.
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Romanian state-owned gas transporter Transgaz has started working on three gas compressor stations that are part of the first phase of the gas pipeline to connect Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, also known as BRUA.
Each station will have two gas compressor units and will be able to provide two-way gas flow. A consortium of Romanian companies led by INSPET Ploiesti, is the contractor for this project, which has a value of RON 288.7 million (EUR 62 million), VAT not included. The European Union covered 50% of the design costs for the three stations, namely EUR 1.5 million.
The first phase of the BRUA project also includes the construction of a 479-kilometer pipeline. The total costs of this phase amount to EUR 478.6 million, 40% of which (EUR 179.3 million) come from the European Union.
At the end of this phase, Romania will be connected to both Hungary and Bulgaria.
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Romania: 6 million lei invested by E-Distributie Muntenia for the modernisation of the electricity networks
E-Distributie Muntenia invested almost RON 6 million for the modernization of the medium and low voltage networks in Cotroceni area in Bucharest, with the purpose to improve the quality of the electricity distribution service for almost 5,000 customers, a press release informs.
Within the modernization project, three major works have been carried out, which resulted in the replacement of medium and low voltage cables on a distance of 41 kilometres.
”These works are an important step in the modernisation of the electricity grid in Cotroceni area, as in addition to the replacement of the cables with modern ones, the network and network equipment have been prepared for the future switch to 20 kV voltage, compared to the current voltage of 10 kV, which will improve the safety in power supply to customers, by ensuring increased grid capacity, lower technological losses, and the ability to connect new consumers to the grid,” the release reads.
The project of switching this area of the distribution network to 20 kV is correlated with the modernization of Cotroceni high-to-medium voltage primary station project, totalling RON 18 million, which was started in 2016 and is scheduled to be completed next year. In the next stage of modernization, a new 20 kV primary station will be developed which will supplied by two new 110/20 kV transformers with a power of 25 MVA, while the total capacity of the station will be upgraded from 80 MVA to 130 MVA.
The project is part of an extensive modernization programme carried out by the Enel companies in Romania which aims at securing a proper service to end users, enhancing the quality and security of the grid as well as complying with Enel’s environmental standards.
Mitsubishi Electric Europe has launched its first subsidiary in Romania through Mitsubishi Electric Living Environmental Systems citing the favorable economic conditions and the growth of the local market.
Last year, the company recorded sales of around EUR 10 million, accounting for 10 percent of the market for air conditioning systems. For 2018, Mitsubishi forecasts additional growth of sales.
Yoji Saito, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Europe, pointed out that the expansion in Romania marks the beginning of fresh growth in Eastern Europe.
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Romania: The number of suspended and dissolved companies with foreign capital had risen significantly during the first two months of 2018
The number of suspended companies running on foreign capital in Romania rose by 66.52% during the first two months of the year, compared to the same period of 2017, while the number of dissolved companies increased by 74.21%, according to the data National Council of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Romania (CNIPMMR) Chairman Florin Jianu provided in a conference on Monday.
CNIPMMR statistics show that during the first 3 months the legislative framework was greatly modified, being adopted 120 legislative modifications to the Tax Code, which affected the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises.
At a general level, the official data show that during the first 3 months of the year, 835 normative acts were adopted, and over 45% of the laws and ordinances have affected enterprises directly and significantly, including small and medium businesses (fiscal legislation, statements and mandatory contributions, etc.).
According to the CNIPMMR chairman, the changes to the fiscal legislation have generated multiple negative effects upon SMEs, of which: growth of taxation, growth of bureaucracy for all taxpayers and employers, the growth of staff costs, administrative expenses concerning updating IT software, the necessity of a restructure (individual or mass layoffs) and also problems of ensuring competitiveness and the progress of contracts upon export.
The audit of employers shows that during the period of January – February 2018, direct investments of non-resident citizens of Romania went down by 3.17%, summing up 794 million euro (compared to 820 million euro during the same period of 2017), of which participations for capital (including the estimated reinvested net profit) accounted for 592 million euro, and intra-group credits recorded a net worth of 202 million euro.
Furthermore, the number of new companies running on foreign capital amounts to 848 and have a subscribed share capital of over 3.59 million dollars, which is lower by 57.9%, according the information included in the CNIPMMR report, that quotes the ONRC statistic.
On the other hand, during January 1 – February 28, 2018, the number of suspended companies went up by 66.52% (4,108, compared to 2,467 during the same interval of 2017), and the number of dissolved companies amounted to 6,397, compared to 3,672, with a growth of 74.21%. Also, the number of deregistrations went up by 19.25%, to 15,254, and insolvencies grew by 28.07%, reaching 1,492, as opposed to 1,165 during the similar period of last year.
Source: CNIPMMR report and Nine O’Clock.
PowerHouse Energy Group plc. is to make its hydrogen-from-waste technology available to bus fleet operators in Bulgaria and Romania.
Tresoil, a Bucharest-energy group, will sell buses powered by the Powerhouse’s DMG system and manufactured by Wrightbus, a specialist in hydrogen vehicles.
Bus operators in Romania and Bulgaria are receiving EU grant aid to replace their ageing, polluting fleets.
Tresoil will handle the grant applications and the setting up of special purpose companies with operators to run the bus fleets.
Initially, these special companies will 51% owned by Powerhouse and its partner Waste2tricity and 49% by Tresoil.
The DMG system produces hydrogen from waste plastic and rubber that can then be used to power a vehicle or convert into electricity.
Keith Allaun, PowerHouse’s chief executive, said he was delighted with the agreement, which is the company’s first international deal for DMG.
Read more about this on proactiveinvestors.
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