BURSA 29.08.2017

EMILIA OLESCU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
mărește imaginea
     *  Dochia: "The pension fund management firms will close down on their own if the fee gets eliminated"
     *  Aurelian Dochia: "The government's communication is a permanent blunder, and the result is that nobody is interested anymore in what the authorities are saying"
     *  PFP: "The current government, starting with its own prime-minister, is characterized by a ferocious economic illiteracy"
       The 2nd pension pillar continues to be the focus of politicians, who come out with conflicting statements on the matter. After last week, PM Mihai Tudose and deputy prime-minister Marcel have confirmed that the Government is working intensely on changing this private mandatory pension system, with the "amounts paid to the 1st pillar to be a bit higher than the ones paid to the 2nd pillar", PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on Sunday, in a televised show, that "in actuality", the talks about the cutting of the contribution to the 2nd pillar concern the elimination of the fee that the managers of these private funds collect.
     Liviu Dragnea said: "Out of the money that you are contributing, those private managers withhold a fee of 2.5%. It was approved, legislated in the beginning. They said: give us that 2.5% fee to set up the pension management companies. We've been talking for ten years. In ten years there has been plenty of money and they've had plenty of help to organize. I think that's enough. That money shouldn't be taken from your contribution, it's very simple. Somebody pays 100 lei to a specific asset management fund, of the 2nd pillar, and only 97.5 lei are booked. In other words we want to give retirees more money. That is all, there is no action directed at pension fund managers, there is no nationalization, this is a matter of streamlining, of fine-tuning, which I don't think is a bad thing".
     It is true that last week, the information has also appeared, from alleged sources quoted by Profit.ro, that one of the measures that the Ministry of Public Finance was going to take concerns the monthly fee of 2.5%. But that was another measure which was supplemental to the one according to which half the contributions to the 2nd pillar would be transferred to the 1st pillar (state pensions). Or, Liviu Dragnea claims that "in fact", the talks concern that fee, alluding, without outright saying it, that the Government doesn't want to cut the contributions of the beneficiaries to the 2nd pillar.
     If that fee gets eliminated, then the managers "will be forced to close down by default", says economic analyst Aurelian Dochia.
     He said: "We have to wonder what will happen to the fund managers, if that fee of 2.5% gets eliminated. The state will have to provide a new source of income for them. Perhaps the authorities will decide to offer them a new commission. At any rate, if the management fee gets eliminated, then the managers will be forced to close down willingly, if no longer allowed to collect that fee, or else they wouldn't be able to cover their expenses. It won't even be necessary for someone to close them down".
     Some alternatives can be discussed - like discussing the level of the commission per se and to have a different financing source for the operation of these funds. There has to be a form for the managers of the special funds to achieve revenues for the payment of salaries and rents, etc.
     I think that there have been some intentions that would turn into measures, but because every time they try, resistance arises to all the changes its is trying to make, the Government keeps changing its statements. Perhaps it is an actual communication strategy, so that things get to the point where people get tired and eventually it doesn't matter what the Government does.
     In the end, I think that the result will be that everyone starts doubting that story and the authorities will have the means to do anything, without anybody being paying attention to them. It is hard to say that this communication strategy is deliberate, but there is a permanent string of conflicting statements, and the result is that nobody is interested in what the government is doing and what it intends to do. Perhaps that is the goal, but this whole strategy also follows the reality of the confusion reigning among the authorities. All of their governing plan was made without any fundament, unsustainable measures have been taken and now they are scrambling for solutions".
     PM Mihai Tudose confirmed on Friday that the authorities are working on changing the 2nd pillar of private mandatory pensions, after the authorities vehemently denied for months the information that they were looking to shut it down. Mihai Tudose said on Friday that he has seen that the return of the 2nd pillar is far lower than that of the 1st pillar (state pensions). The prime-minister said that the median return of pension funds of the 2nd pillar between 2008 and the current year has been approximately 4%.
     Tudose wrote on his Facebook: "In the 1st pillar, the pension is calculated as the ratio between the earned salary and the median salary. That means that a person who has had an annual growth higher than 4% compared to the increase of the median salary will have upon retirement more money than a person who has also opted for the 2nd pillar". The head of the Government also gave a "concrete example" those who between 2008-2017 have been paid the minimum wage. "It increased approximately 180% during that period, whereas the median wage increased less than 100%. It follows that they had an increase of the pension point of more than 80%, compared to 40% for those who opted for the 2nd pillar as well".
     Tudose added: "The return I spoke about, calculated in relation to the pension point, concerned the amount that would be received upon retirement in the two situations: the person who opted for the 2nd pillar versus the one that didn't".
     Tudose's numbers differ from the ones reported in the market. "Between May 20, 2008 - May 19th, 2017, representing the first nine years of the 2nd pillar, all the private pension funds have seen an annual median return of 9.46%, according to the calculations of the APAPR", according to a June press release of the Association for Privately Managed Pensions of Romania (APAPR).
     The "Uniunea Salvați România" party (Save Romania Union - USR) called the PM's statements about the returns of the two pension pillars as "aberrations": "The aberration of the day came from the prime-minister: the return of the 1st pillar is higher than the return of the 2nd pillar. In fact, the 1st Pillar cannot have a return cannot have a return because it is not an investment, like the 2nd pillar".
     The USR further said: "Furthermore, the 1st pillar has a deficit of 21 billion lei in 2016, and a predicted deficit of 28 billion lei for the end of 2017. Unfortunately for Romania, Mihai Tudose is, from a professional and political point of view a dunce, according to the very evaluation of the PSD".
     * PFP: "Take your hands off our pensions"
     "Take off your hands off our pensions", begins the press release of the Association of Pension Funds and Investment Funds Participants (PFP), which says that it has "been shocked at the recent statements made by PM Mihai Tudose and of the other members of the Government concerning the superior return of the 1st Pillar (managed by the state) compared to the 2nd pillar pension funds".
     The aforementioned press release states: "The PFP thinks that the current government, starting with its own prime-minister, is characterized by a ferocious economic illiteracy, whose harmful consequences will negatively affect both Romania's economy overall, as well as every Romanian".
     The Association also adds that the "public pension system has been at a deficit since 2009, and that deficit is reaching dizzying amounts, of even 15 billion lei (approximately 3.5 billion Euros)". "The use of the word «return» in relation to a government which doesn't invest any part of the amounts it collects beggars belief": "It is impossible for us to understand how the prime-minister and the Government don't know the fact that the current public system is nothing more than a pipeline by which the social contributions paid by the current employees are transferred to current retirees in the form of pensions. There is no accumulation, no investing of money from the pension system to the benefit of the current employees or retirees. In other words everything that is produced is consumed instantly and in order to cover the deficit, there are also loans made".
     The government is only interested in one thing: getting money to cover the huge staff and pensions expenses it has engaged in without any prior analysis, the representatives of the Association further say. "Unfortunately, the issue is a lot more serious, and the emptying of the 2nd pillar is just one phase. There will be other stages, where the Government, in its rush for money, and once the amounts in the 2nd pillar prove insufficient, will also apply other measures which will eventually turn against Romanians. (...) Hence why we get the Exchange rate of 5 lei for a Euro or higher interest rates will be a reality soon. Let's think of what that will mean individually, for the Romanians that have taken out loans, especially during this period of low interest rates - we will once again be talking about people who are financially burdened. And let's apply that image to the economy overall - the consequences could be disastrous. The government is behaving just like a medieval lord, who offers electoral handouts presents to the population to get his tranquility for a while. To them, it doesn't matter that the country doesn't have roads, schools and hospitals and that the treasury is emptying, and more money only comes from expensive loans or new taxes".
     On May 19th, 2017, exactly 9 years after the actual launch of the 2nd pillar, the number of participants in these funds has reached almost 6.9 million Romanians, and the net assets under management have exceeded 35.1 billion lei (7.7 billion Euros). 
 

 
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Aceeasi sectiune (English Section)
AFTER BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE TAX ADMINISTRATION AND THE ANPC, BANKS GET INVESTIGATED BY THE COMPETITION COUNCIL
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
PATRICIA SUÁREZ RAMÍREZ, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL CONSUMERS OF SPAIN:
THE QUICK RISE OF THE INDEX WHICH SETS THE TREND FOR INTEREST RATES ON LOANS DENOMINATED IN LEI ISN'T STOPPING
THE PARLIAMENT IS ASKING FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATIONS WHICH OMV PETROM HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO
Actualitate - vezi toate știrile mai jos.
Miscellanea, 08:25
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     18.12.2017 
     Prognoză meteorologică (17, 18 decembrie)
     Prognoza pentru România
     Racirea vremii va continua în majoritatea zonelor și se va resimți în special în cursul nopții când minimele termice vor deveni negative în cea mai mare parte a țarii. Cerul va fi variabil în regiunile nord-vestice și mai mult noros în restul teritoriului, iar în sud și sud-vest precipitațiile vor fi pe arii relativ extinse. În Carpații Meridionali și în Munții Banatului va ninge, iar în Oltenia, sudul Banatului și local în Muntenia vor fi precipitații sub forma de ploaie, lapovița și ninsoare. În celelalte regiuni doar izolat va fulgui. Vântul va sufla slab și moderat, cu unele intesnificari în estul țarii. Temperaturile maxime se vor încadra între -1 și 6 grade, iar cele minime între -10 grade în depresiunile intramontane și 1...2 grade în Lunca Dunarii și sudul litoralului.
     Prognoza pentru București
     Vremea va fi închisa. Cerul va fi noros și temporar vor fi precipitații slabe, sub forma de ploaie, lapovița și ninsoare. Vântul va sufla slab pâna la moderat. Temperatura maxima va fi de 3...4 grade, iar cea minima se va situa în jurul a 0 grade.
      
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English Section
18.12.2017
     * The Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists has pledged to support with all his strength, the efforts of FAIR-MediaSind to halt the politicians' attacks on the independence of Romanian journalists
       The political assault on the freedom of the press in Romania, through the amendment of the laws of justice by the coalition in power, was one of the main issues today in the meeting of the Social Dialog Commission of the European Commission, which was attended, on behalf of Romania, Leonard Pădureț, president of the FAIR - MediaSind Culture and Mass Media Federation, together with executive president Cristi Godinac.  details
14.12.2017
EXCLUSIVE:
     * "We need real and rational policy from the international community and not political tricks"
     * (Interview with his Excellency, Mr. Fuad Kokaly, the Ambassador of Palestine in Bucharest)
       The UN stated it was "extremely concerned over the risks of a violent escalation of the situation" after the decision of Donald Trump to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a reunion of the Security Council in which the United States have appeared more isolated than ever, according to AFP.  details
12.12.2017
AFTER BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE TAX ADMINISTRATION AND THE ANPC, BANKS GET INVESTIGATED BY THE COMPETITION COUNCIL
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     * Unannounced audit at Finmedia
     * The investigated institutions are at risk of being fined 10% of their turnover
     * Vasilescu: "The NBR has nothing to do with these investigations"
       The financial banking system seems to be the focus of most of the investigation entities. After being audited by the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF) and by the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC), some of the banks which operate in Romania have also been investigated by the Competition Council (CC).  details
11.12.2017
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
     * The Bucharest Court of Appeal Bucharest yesterday ruled that RCS&RDS has abusive clauses in its contracts
     * The ANPC has also won the initial lawsuit against Telekom România
     * Vodafone has lost the case in the court of last instance against the ANPC
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08.12.2017
     The hope of an accession as quick as possible by Romania to the Eurozone was dealt a heavy blow precisely on the National Day.  details
06.12.2017
AFTER THE DRAFT HAD BEEN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER
     * Gheorghe Șimon: "The royalties law will be voted in the Parliament in February next year"
     * Ministry of the Economy: "We will establish royalties which are fair both for the state as well as for the business sector"
     * Daniel Cătălin Zamfir, PNL: "I found out that there are companies that have never, take note, never paid even one leu in royalties to the Romanian state, even though they have been exploiting resources for over 20 years"
     * Last year, the Court of Auditors announced that Romania lost 1.4 billion dollars, because the ANRM established the oil royalties in a flawed manner
       The entire legislative package concerning the regulation of the system for the regulation of the mineral, oil and hydromineral resources will be revised and will be voted in the Parliament in February next year, Economics minister, Gheorghe Șimon, announced yesterday, after the debates of the Economic, Industries and Services Commission of the Senate.  details
28.11.2017
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
     * Customers with borrowers in CHF from Bancpost are waiting for a conversion program with a discount
       After moving to second spot last year in the domestic banking system, through the acquisition of Volksbank, Banca Transilvania (BT) ends up on equal footing with BCR, taking over Bancpost, from Greek group Eurobank.  details
27.11.2017
     * MAKE, BURSA: "I want the new CEO of the BSE to participate in the drafting of a new strategy for the development of capital market"
       On Thursday night, "BURSA" received the Award for the promoting of high standards of corporate governance on the capital market, as part of the 2017 Capital Market Awards Gala, organized by the Association of Brokers.  details
24.11.2017
     * Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, scheduled for meetings with the board
     * Both candidates seem to be closet o the group in the shareholder structure of the BSE
     * George Butunoiu is in charge of recruitment
     * The waiting list may include a few foreigners, including former BRD executive Jacek Panczyk
       According to some market sources, banker Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, Chief Investment Officer at NN Pensii România, will hold interviews in the beginning of next week with the Board of the BSE, after Ludwik Sobolewski's term expired in the summer.  details
23.11.2017
PATRICIA SUÁREZ RAMÍREZ, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL CONSUMERS OF SPAIN:
     * The head of the ASUFIN: "The ruling of the Supreme Court of Spain in which the Andriciuc case has been invoked will be part of the Spanish case law and the lower courts will be required to apply the principle that underlies this decision"
       The ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE) in the Andriciuc versus Banca Românească case represents a great advantage for Spanish debtors, said Patricia Suarez Ramírez, the president of the Association of Financial Consumers in Spain (ASUFIN), as part of a response recently sent to BURSA.  details
22.11.2017
     * Dragnea: "Those who are against me are hiding behind institutions"
       The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, leader of the PSD, thinks that his enemies are hiding behind some institutions, "they crucify people", and the real stake is "the blocking of the Laws concerning the Justice system".  details
21.11.2017
     The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have sent to the ECB, in the beginning of this year, a request concerning the sending of some proposals to revise the framework for managing crises.  details
20.11.2017
ANPC STRIKES AGAIN
     * BCR: "Ongoing contracts no longer contain the clauses that have been subjected to examination"
     * Sources: "ANPC has 6 lawsuits against BCR, which will lead to enormous losses for Erste Bank if BCR loses in court"
       After forcing Raiffeisen Bank to eliminate the unfair practices from the loan agreements, the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC) strikes again, this time the biggest bank in the system. BCR lost in the court of first instance, against the ANPC, in a class action lawsuit concerning abusive lending clauses.  details
16.11.2017
THE QUICK RISE OF THE INDEX WHICH SETS THE TREND FOR INTEREST RATES ON LOANS DENOMINATED IN LEI ISN'T STOPPING
     The 3-month ROBOR rate, which is used to calculate the interest rates, the majority of the loans denominated in lei, has jumped past the 2% psychological level, and yesterday reached 2.06%, up from Tuesday's 1.92%, according to data from the NBR.  details
16.11.2017
THE PARLIAMENT IS ASKING FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATIONS WHICH OMV PETROM HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO
     * Minister Toma Petcu, former ministers Răzvan Nicolescu and Victor Grigorescu, the representatives of the state in the executive structure of OMV Petrom and Mihai Busuioc, the president of the Court of Auditors were heard today in the Investigation Commission
       The executives of OMV Petrom mentioned, in a letter addressed to the parliament, the existence of four lawsuits brought by the National Energy Regulation Authority (ANRE) and of seven audits by the Authority, between 2012-2017, as the recent request for information by the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE targeted a period of 12 years, from 2015 to 2017.  details
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