Romania

Bickering in the European Union’s most politically volatile member state is threatening to delay the approval of the bloc’s 800 billion-euro ($973 billion) pandemic-relief package, Bloomberg News reported. Romania’s ruling coalition and opposition are far from a consensus on ratifying the Recovery Fund this month in parliament, where a two-thirds majority is required. The country is one of seven EU states yet to sign off on the financing and allow disbursements to coronavirus-battered economies to start. The bloc wants all national parliaments to ratify the decision by June.
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Increasing the price of metro tickets in June, suspending the 18% wage hike for four months, and cutting the weekend and holiday bonuses are among the main actions pondered by the Transport Ministry to improve the balance of Bucharest subway operator Metrorex by RON 100 million (EUR 20 mln), Romania-Insider.com reported. This way, the company could avoid cash flow problems in 2021, although remaining in the loss area. According to a draft consulted by Economedia.ro, Metrorex estimates losses of RON 230 mln (EUR 46 mln) in 2021, RON 63 mln (EUR 12 mln) more than last year's RON 167 mln losses.
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Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air will resume its plans put on ice during the pandemic. The company plans to issue bonds within several months after it exits the pre-insolvency procedures, hopefully in July 2022, and to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) within two to three years, the company's CEO Oana Petrescu said in an interview, Romania-Insider.com reported. Romania's biggest airline by the number of passengers transported, Blue Air, initiated last July the preventive agreement, a mechanism that gives a company facing cash flow problems a chance to avoid insolvency.
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Romania’s central bank bought bonds on the secondary market this week, triggering a rally in the country’s government debt and prompting the cabinet to sell more debt than planned at domestic auctions, Bloomberg News reported. The bank purchased about 150m lei ($36 million) of local-currency government bonds from commercial lenders on March 8 and 9 in an attempt to rein in a spike in yields since mid-February. It was active for the first time since August, buying notes due July 2025 and January 2028, among others, the people said.

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Bucharest mayor Nicusor Dan officially announced that the Bucharest City Hall (PMB) wants to buy the primary producer of thermal energy for the district heating system in the capital city, Electrocentrale Bucuresti (Elcen), Romania-Insider.com reported. The energy producer, currently under insolvency, is controlled by the Ministry of Energy. State-owned gas producer Romgaz previously expressed a similar intention as it owes significant claims against Elcen. However, both potential bidders for Elcen might need more time to submit a formal offer.

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Insolvency and restructuring activity remained low across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), since the beginning of the pandemic, except Romania, which has recorded an increase in the number of insolvencies, and Czech Republic, which saw an increasing trend in restructuring, according to PwC ”Global Restructuring Trends” report, Business Review reported…According to the report, insolvencies are expected to increase in Q4 2020 and into 2021 globally, especially for those companies that operate in heavily COVID-19-affected industries that may take much longer to recover, such as leisure, trave

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Romania’s low-cost airline, Blue Air, has been given a new lease of life after Bucharest’s municipal court approved its request to enter a form of bankruptcy protection, SimpleFlying.com reported. The procedure allows the carrier to continue operations and generate revenue for the next 18 months without having to pay back creditors or refund passengers. The agreement between the airline and its creditors will see the airline repay loans in full at a later date. Like many European Airlines, Blue Air has struggled massively to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.

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Tarom (RO, Bucharest Otopeni) is to receive two batches of funding from the Romanian state coffers in order to stabilise the ailing carrier and then to allow it to restructure going forward, ch-aviation reported. The country's Transport Minister Lucian Bode announced on B1 TV, the Romanian television network, which was then subsequently reported on news.ro, that he will discuss the possibility of handing over EUR157 million euro (USD 175 million) to Tarom with the European Commission in Brussels.

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The Romanian government has released new plans to change legislation in several areas, including drastically higher fines and penalties for tax evasion and off-the-books work, changing insolvency procedures and construction laws, new investment objectives as well as financial compensation for citizens who served prison time in improper conditions, according to profit.ro.

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The Romanian Postal office has requested the insolvency of PRBA, the national postal operator’s insurance broker, Business Review reported. The company’s representatives made this decision as a result of analyzing the legal debt recovery options that PRBA had to register with the company. The broker has registered losses of RON 4 million in the last five years and receivables of RON 2 million.

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