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INTERVIEW: Monica Ene-Pietrosanu, country manager of Intel Romania Software Design Center, tells BR about the center’s ongoing projects and what informs the company’s recruitment drive »page 9


OCTOBER 15 - 21 / VOLUME 16, NUMBER 33






Court out

Energy boost

Bedding down

The Bucharest Court of Appeal overturns the September 2010 appointment of Franklin Templeton as sole manager of the Property Fund

Pundits say more than EUR 18 billion of investments are needed to replace worn out power generation capacities in the local energy sector by 2020

Romanians remain price-conscious when it comes to purchasing furniture, leaving retailers with poor sales in the first half of the year

Equestria is hoping to spur Romanians’ appetite for horse-riding » page 4

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Find out what’s on in town with BR’s cultural agenda » page 14

Photo: Silviu Pal

Stefanos Stefanos Theocharopoulos, Theocharopoulos, CEO CEO of of Cosmote Cosmote Romania Romania and and Romtelecom Romtelecom (left), (left), has has announced announced the the mobile mobile firm firm will will roll roll out out 4G 4G services services next next year. year. Competitor Competitor Orange, Orange, headed headed by by Jean-Francois Jean-Francois Fallacher Fallacher (right), (right), set its deadline for launch this year »page set its deadline for launch this year »page 44 Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


NEWS in brief AGRICULTURE Romania’s H1 wine imports 6 times higher than exports

BANKING Banca Transilvania takes out USD 15 mln IFC loan for SME trade finance The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a USD 15 million trade credit line to Banca Transilvania, which will use the loan to provide additional funds to micro, small and medium enterprises that need to finance their international trade. The loan has been granted under the IFC’s  Global Trade Finance Program, which supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions.

FINANCING State aid framework in place for IT&C companies to apply The Ministry of Public Finance has invited companies to apply for state aid from October 1. To be eligible, investments must promote new technologies and create at least 200 jobs within three years of the investment reaching completion. Any company that receives state aid is also under the obligation to maintain the jobs for at least five years from the moment when the first money is paid for each of the created jobs. According to the ministry’s announcement, the budget for the state aid framework for 2012 is RON 220 million.

Courtesy of Bucharest International Marathon

Some 34,610 tons of wine were imported locally in the first semester of 2012, while exported volumes were more than six times lower at 5,461 tons, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) cited by Agerpres. Imports fell 26 percent against the same period of 2011 while exports were 2.4 percent down. Romanian wine producers cashed in EUR 7.5 million for the wine sold on external markets, up 2 percent against the same period of last year. Imports had a EUR 22 million value. This year’s drought has affected grape production, but while wine volumes will be lower, the quality of the wine produced this year is expected to be higher, according to Adrian Radulescu, the head of the Agriculture Commission from the Chamber of Deputies.

IMAGE of the week Streets of Bucharest host international race Runners from Kenya and Ethiopia were victorious at this year’s Bucharest International Marathon, which saw 7,000 competitors,pounding the pavements of the capital. The winner, Felix Kangogo, in Romania for the first time, crossed the finishing line after only two hours, 15 minutes and 19 seconds. In second place was his fellow Kenyan, Choge Amos Kipruto, who came in three minutes behind the winner, with a time of 2:18:49. They were followed by Ethiopian Ararso Dibaba Merdasa, finishing on 2:19:27. Another Ethiopian, Almaz Nagede Fekade, won the women’s marathon, finishing the race in 2:38:09. Kenya’s Mary Ptikany Lorenge came second, on 2:40:00. Romania took third place, with Claudia Paula Todoran finishing the race in 2:48:20. In the national section, the best time was run by Alexandru Ilie Corneschi, who finished in 2:36:02. The marathon’s official sponsor is Raiffeisen Bank; its CEO Steven van Groningen (above) ran the race.

INSURANCE Gothaer Finanzholding takes over Platinum Asigurari Reasigurari Gothaer Finanzholding AG has completed the takeover of 67 percent of shares in Platinum Asigurari Reasigurari SA, after the approval of the Romanian Insurance Supervisory Commission. The rest of the shares remain owned in equal part by Constantin Toma and Efraim Naimer. The Romanian Insurance Supervisory Commission is to validate the transaction. Platinum will soon be rebranded as Gothaer.

MACRO IMF: Romania to exceed Poland’s economic growth in 2013 Romania could post 2.5 percent economic growth next year, higher than the 2.1 percent forecast for Poland, the largest economy in the region and the only one that has managed to avoid recession since the beginning of the crisis,

predicts a recent IMF report. This could happen following a slowdown of the Polish economy. The IMF expects the Romanian economy to grow by 0.9 percent this year and by 2.5 percent in 2013. The economic growth forecast for Poland is 2.4 percent this year and 2.1 percent in 2013. The last time Romania managed to post higher economic growth than Poland was in 2008 when the local economy grew by 7.3 percent while Polish GDP went up by 5.1 percent.

PROPERTY Bucharest apartment prices continue to fall The prices of new apartments in Bucharest dropped 6.3 percent in the first nine months of 2012 y-o-y, according to The decline accelerated this year compared to the 4 percent fall reported in the first three quarters of 2011 y-o-y, according to the same source. The average price per square meter for newly delivered apartments in Bucharest is currently EUR 1,377. This

is on average 23 percent more expensive than old apartments, defined as those built before 1990. The cheapest one-bedroom apartments are located in the Militari neighborhood where the average price of a 56-sqm apartment is EUR 51,000. Similar prices can be found in Berceni where a 59-sqm unit costs EUR 52,000.

TELECOM Cosmote launches data speeds of up to 43.2 Mbps in 74 towns Telecom operator Cosmote Romania has announced that it now offers data speeds of up to 43.2 Mbps, as well as wider 3G coverage, in more areas of the country. Currently, the company provides mobile broadband download speeds of up to 43.2 Mbps in 74 main cities and towns around the country, representing more than 41 percent of the population. Moreover, customers can enjoy speeds of up to 21.6 Mbps in HSPA+ technology, in 147 towns across the country. Overall, 3G services currently cover over 68 percent of the Romanian population. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


3Q Ozana Moraru Steep drop in termination rates will hurt telecom operators, say industry representatives owner of the Equestria riding club


Has horse riding caught on among Romanians? Yes, it is becoming more popular. I can see this from the number of people joining our riding classes – both children and adults. Some of them invest in buying a horse and later join competitions. What is the necessary investment in buying a horse and what are the monthly boarding costs? A recreational horse can cost somewhere between EUR 5,000 and EUR 10,000, depending on its features and training. Monthly boarding costs reach EUR 400. This includes the housing, feed, shoeing and some veterinary services.

All photos: Silviu Pal

How much did you invest in setting up the riding club and is it a profitable business? I have invested some EUR 5 million but this does not include the land and the horses. Construction started in 2008 and was completed in 2010. At present, Romania is not the best suited country to such a business. The investment in a project like Equestria would have been recovered in perhaps three or four years in Germany but in Romania one has to multiply this by ten. Leaving aside the investment, we have been on an upward trend since opening. Last year we did not post profit but this year we are starting to see a monthly profit coming from day-today activities. Competitions too can be very profitable.

he launch of LTE (4G) and what the services enabled by this technology will look like in Romania, as well as the drop in termination rates and the impact this will have on telecom operators’ businesses locally, were the main issues under discussion at the Business Review event Focus on Telecom last week. Cosmote Romania was the only one of the top three telecom operators in Romania (the other two being Orange and Vodafone) that had not made public a timeframe for the launch of 4G/LTE in Romania after the results of the telecom auction were announced at the end of September. However, during BR’s Focus on Telecom event, Stefanos Theocharopoulos, CEO of Cosmote Romania and general manager of Romtelecom, announced that Cosmote will be able to launch LTE services next year. “We will launch LTE as soon as we enter into possession of the license. Our network is prepared so we believe we will be in a position to launch LTE next year,” said Theocharopoulos. Cosmote Romania will pay nearly EUR 180 million in license taxes, growing its spectrum resources by 58 percent. The operator acquired one block in the 800 Mhz bandwidth, two blocks in 900 Mhz, five blocks in 1800 Mhz and two blocks in 2600 Mhz, valid for the timeframe 2014-2029. “With LTE, internet access will be much faster and the applications will be more user-friendly. However, I don’t believe we will see a big change from one day to the next in terms of applications, but rather in the quality of the services,” said Theocharopoulos. Orange Romania has already announced plans to introduce 4G by the end of this year, first of all in Bucharest, and then throughout the rest of the country while Vodafone will do so in

l-r Alexander Benczek, Catalin Marinescu of ANCOM, Stefanos Theocharopoulos of Cosmote, Jean-Francois Fallacher of Orange, Florin Petolea of Alcatel Lucent

early 2013. Orange Romania will pay in total EUR 227 million, after boosting its spectrum resources by 84 percent. The operator won two blocks in the 800 MHz bandwidth, two blocks in 900 MHz, four blocks in 1800 MHz and four blocks in 2600 MHz, valid for the timeframe 20142029. The company was also awarded short-term licenses: five blocks in the 900 MHz bandwidth and three blocks in the 1800 MHz bandwidth, valid between January 1, 2013 and April 5, 2014. The level of termination rates is another issue that commanded the attention of industry representatives present at the event. Termination rates are the price paid by a telecom company to another operator for finishing its customers’ calls in the latter’s network. This rate can be found on the bill paid by the customer who makes the call. Starting this fall, termination rates in mobile telephony will be cut by 24

l-r Doina Costache of Google Romania, Razvan Pirvu of Ericsson, Panos Makris of Cosmote, Sorin Manea of Samsung Electronics Romania, Andrea Belenes and Gabriela Voinea of Orange, Vasile Voicu of Romtelecom, Antonio Eram of Netopia System

percent to 3.07 eurocents per minute, this being the second time that the maximum threshold of these tariffs has been lowered since March, as ANCOM announced at the end of August. Overall revenues obtained by telecom operators from the termination of voice calls reached EUR 0.47 billion, representing 13 percent of the overall value of the market of electronic communications, announced ANCOM at that date. Chief representatives of Orange and Cosmote appealed to the authorities to take into consideration, when setting the termination rates, that operators will need to make large investments in the deployment of 4G and the coverage of blank areas, under the newly acquired licenses. “These tariffs are a significant part of our revenues. ANCOM is currently working on setting the new rates. These rates will really impact us a lot. Give us the room to make the investments in LTE. If these termination rates go very low, we will be very constrained,” said Fallacher. Theocharopoulos agreed with this view, adding that prices of mobile communication services in Romania are already among the lowest in Europe. In response, Catalin Marinescu, president of ANCOM, explained that there are different termination rates across Europe. “Until the end of 2012, all the EU regulatory authorities should define a model of hypothetical efficient operator costs and, based on these costs, calculate the termination rates in every country. Based on cases in other countries, when termination rates drop, operators’ revenues will decrease but their costs will decrease as well. The authority will treat this issue with responsibility and take into consideration all the issues on the Romanian market,” said Marinescu. ∫ Otilia Haraga Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012



Property Fund manager rocked by court decision

Greg Konieczny, FP fund manager


oana Sfaraiala, a shareholder in the Property Fund (FP), has won a court ruling overturning a series of decisions approved by FP shareholders in 2010, which included the appointment of Franklin Templeton Investment Limited London as sole administrator of the EUR 2.84 billion fund. The Bucharest Court of Appeal approved the claimant’s request to annul four resolutions of the shareholder meeting of 6 September 2010. Sfaraiala alleged a breach by the previous FP management of the formalities required in calling the meeting. The resolutions relate to the approval of a new constitutive act, the formal acknowledgement of the appointment of Franklin Templeton as sole administrator of the fund. The court decision, which is irrevocable, also annulled the appointment of the previous Directorate and Supervisory Board, and of the first members of the Board of Nominees.

The court however rejected Sfaraiala’s request to overturn the resolution relating to the listing of the FP on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. “It is an unfortunate situation when a single minority shareholder seeks to use the court system to interfere with and delay the implementation of resolutions adopted by the vast majority of the fund’s shareholders,” said Greg Konieczny, FP fund manager. The manager said the court ruling was based on a “strict technical procedural argument” and refers only to the September 2010 decisions. He stressed the fact that FP shareholders have voiced their approval of the challenged resolutions.“We will continue to respect those resolutions and to manage the fund in accordance with our management agreement and the current Constitutive Act,” said Konieczny. The fund manager pointed out that the version of the Constitutive Act to which the court relates is not the one currently in force. In the 25 April 2012 meeting shareholders reiterated their approval of the resolutions that were the subject of the court case. Franklin Templeton stated it would continue to manage the FP in accordance with its management agreement with the fund, with the current Constitutive Act, and with the shareholder’s decisions, in collaboration with the Board of Nominees. FP shares were suspended last Wednesday following the court decision before being back up the next day. Shares fell by 4.19 percent to RON 0.5030 during late Thursday trading. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca


Head of Romanian brokerage firm goes missing


ristian Sima, a stock exchange investor and former head of the Sibiu Stock Exchange (SIBEX), has gone missing according to media reports, and clients of his brokerage, part of WBS Holding, allege their investments have vanished. The stock exchange regulator CNVM started an investigation last week at the HQ of WBS Romania. Officials want to check the integrity of customer accounts. The CNVM recommended clients file complaints against WBS Romania if they think they have lost money. It added that WBS Holding was not regulated locally and not authorized to act in the Romanian capital market. The potential relationship between WBS Holding and WBS Romania will also be investigated. The police have also started an in-

vestigation after media reports that Sima hadn’t been contactable since last month. However, no missing person’s report had been filed with the police by the Sima family or any other party. Economist Daniel Daianu, a former finance minister, is among the customers of the brokerage firm that is part of WBS Holding. “I am not among those that lost money at WBS, but among those who had his money lost for him,” said Daianu, quoted by Agerpres. Daianu said his funds were in a general account abroad, and it was difficult to check their status. He had gone to the headquarters of the brokerage firm to verify the status of his account, but received no answer and was told that Sima was not contactable. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Romanian energy sector faces tough choices Romania needs to replace its worn out power generation capacities with efficient ones, which requires an overall investment of more than EUR 18 billion by 2020, experts say. However, the troubled economy and lower energy prices represent serious challenges for the country, which may become an energy importer by the end of this decade. ∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA The state remains a key player in the generation segment, controlling 93 percent of the assets, but players say they require massive investments to keep up with the annual average increase of 2 to 3 percent in demand. In distribution, the situation is better as foreign utilities are bidding for state-owned assets and have started to upgrade them.

Dimming generation

Pondering investments PM Victor Ponta has described the energy sector along with agriculture as the local domains with high potential for economic growth.

Photo: Mihai Constantineanu

The situation seems to be critical for thermal power plants, where 53 percent of the 4,900 MW in capacities are more than 30 years old, according to the Romanian Energy Strategy. Worn out hydropower groups exceed 6,000 MW and represent 31 percent of the total installed capacities. Around 65 percent of the power distribution networks need upgrading (electrical lines and transformation units). “In classical technologies the era of large thermo groups has gone, as they are not flexible and rely on high consumption of thermal energy,” Adrian Borotea, directorate member of CEZ Romania, told BR. “It is time for small, flexible groups, distributed across the territory, close to consumers.” Eric Stab, president of GDF Suez Energy Romania, stated last week during a CEZ event on energy that around 5,000 MW of assets in thermal generation need to be built by 2018-2020. However, nuclear remains in shape as the two reactors at Cernavoda provide 20.3 percent of the total power output. Romania plans to build two additional reactors, in a period when some EU members, the largest being Germany, have scrapped their nuclear ambitions. “Realistically, one of them has good financial and economical chances,” said Borotea. In spite of the worn out capacities, Romania exported 1.9 TWh of electricity last year. On the long term, this is likely to change if the gap in capacities is not filled. Romania may become an electricity importer by 2018 if new assets are not put in place, according to Enel research.

Pylon on the misery: energy players must contend with out-of-date equipment, falling energy prices and economic woes

Romania has been able to attract major investments in the renewable sector in the last three years, mainly wind, as it tries to increase its output from green sources. The bulk of investment has come from foreign utilities that are already present locally and other investors located in Western Europe. Most of them were attracted by the natural conditions and the tradable green certificates, granted for every one MW produced. Last year, power producers got close to EUR 100 million from the certificates that are currently trading at the ceiling price of EUR 57. This was a support scheme that allowed Romania to add 1,000 MW in wind alone between 2010 and 2011 and another 900 MW are expected this year, said Ionel David, president of the Romanian Wind Energy Association, during the CEZ event. He described the progress in wind as “Chinese” style, adding that Romania started from 14 MW in 2009 and will reach an estimated 3,000 MW next year. Players in the energy business suggested that the government needs to set up some kind of

support mechanism for conventional sources, to make them attractive to investors. “The utilities do not seem to be so much interested in developing conventional capacities,” said Cosmin Stavaru, partner at law firm Bulboaca & Asociatii. He mentioned Petrom’s 860 MW gasfired power plant as the only significant investment made recently. Romania’s failure to attract investors for the Cernavoda project is another example. The partner said this happened because of the focus on renewable sources, but also due to public authorities' mismanagement of incentives such as public-private partnerships and EU grants. State guarantees could be used in certain situations, but the European Commission needs to approve this type of state aid, according to Stavaru. He pointed out that it took Romania two years to obtain EU clearance for the renewable support scheme. “To attract investors it is necessary to have a very stable and clear legal framework. If laws are changed and amended all the time, the country loses the trust of investors,” said Alfonso Otero Zapata,

general manager at Bogaris Romania, a company that is developing several wind projects in Romania. Jan Veskrna, directorate president at CEZ Romania, said there is a problem of lack of investment in new capacities, but renewable sources can’t solve this issue alone. “Renewable should not be the future of generation and heat in Romania,” stated Veskrna during the CEZ event last week. Romania has planned the TarnitaLapustesti pumped-storage hydropower plant, which will have an installed capacity of 1,000 MW. It requires EUR 1.1 billion of investments and should allow more renewable assets in the system. The price of electricity in Romania is 30 to 45 percent lower than the EU average, placing Romania just ahead of Bulgaria, which has the lowest prices “The Tarnita-Lapustesti project is not viable with today's prices of EUR 50-60 for one MW and the current system service prices from Transelectrica. Realistically, it doesn't add up and there are better investment options,” Borotea told BR. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012

Balancing deregulation and profits Romania approved this year a new energy law and has set a clear timetable for the deregulation of prices in electricity and gas. In electricity the process will be completed for companies and households by 2013 and 2017 respectively. In natural gas, regulated prices will be phased out by 2014 and 2018. “Operators in the gas market have said on numerous occasions that they can’t invest consistently in support techniques, because the free market mechanism can’t guarantee the investment recovery,” said Catalin Micu, managing associate at law firm Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu (ZRP). He added that banks will finance this development if operators can prove a reasonable recovery period for their investments. “Price liberalization can be considered a beneficial infusion of oxygen. However, the immediate effects of price deregulation followed by investments in the sector could lead to a sustained increase in the prices paid by consumers,” explained Micu. The potential of this measure can be assessed more accurately after the secondary legislation for the implementations of the calendar is approved, according to Cosmin Stavaru, partner at law firm Bulboaca & Asociatii. “The investors certainly need a plausible and predictable calendar in order to manage their own business plans. They will also take into consideration that the authorities might intervene, in certain situations, in the price determination process and that the generators will be taxed from 2013 for the additional revenues obtained due to the liberalization process which will generate an increase in prices. The relevant legislation for said taxation is expected to be promoted this fall,” said Stavaru. He added that the liberalization schedule is ambitious, but may be difficult to attain, according to market players. Players in the domestic energy market will see profits rise as prices reach EU levels, but consumer behavior in a troubled economy may temper new investments, warns Sorin Mitel, partner at law firm Vilau & Mitel. “If many of the industrial consumers cannot bear the burden of higher prices, they will have to reduce consumption and head towards less energy-intensive activities, which would reduce the electricity consumed,” says Mitel. “The economic performance of producers would be affected and the deregulated market attractiveness for investors would be reduced.” He added that investments in production efficiency and power transmission could counter this. Market liberalization is set to increase competition, according to Marius Berariu, associate at law firm Clifford Chance Badea. He said that more changes will be seen in the gas business, as private power generators already have the option to sell their electricity on the competitive market.

ENERGY 7 Energy law needs tweaking Romania got a European gas and power law this summer, but some issues have already arisen for companies. One is that all transactions with electricity will take place exclusively on the centralized OPCOM market. Berariu warns that unless this provision is eliminated or clarified to allow private investors to sell electricity through off-exchange trading (OTC), they will have a more conservative stance on future developments. “This is mainly because of the inability to secure long-term income projections, leading to difficulties in obtaining financing for the development of the projects,” said Berariu. This trading provision is aimed state-owned power producers and not private ones, according to Irina Moinescu, partner at law firm Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii. Another provision that needs to be clarified is the probation period between the commissioning date of the first generating unit – the first turbine in a wind farm – and the completion date. Only one certificate is granted in this period. The investors will benefit from the scheme only after the full project starts production, according to Moinescu. “So, an exclusively technical concept – the probation period should have covered only the technical testing of equipment for a relatively short period – was transformed into a commercial concept, with a significant impact on producers’ income stemming from the application of the promotion mechanism,” said Moinescu. The renewable sector has been mostly hit as small investors depend on the banking system to build green capacities. “Based on the statements of good intentions from the government, and due to numerous requests from the private sector, we can soon expect a change in this bill,” said Vlad Neacsu, associated lawyer at law firm Popovici Nitu & Asociatii. Stavaru of Bulboaca & Asociatii said the government was likely to amend the law in the next two-three months, but nobody can be sure when. “If the change to the new law is not implemented fast, another formula to ‘cover’ the financiers’ distrust could be the granting of state aid,” said Micu of ZRP.

Estimating green capacities Romania’s production from green sources will make up 6.7 percent of the total energy output next year, according to professional services firm PwC. Stavaru stated that optimistic estimations put wind capacities at 2,000 MW by year end. Photovoltaic electricity generation is estimated to reach an installed capacity of around 45 MW, biomass around 30 MW, and small microhydro around 400 MW. Mitel of Vilau & Mitel predicted 1,900 MW in wind, 150 MW in photo-voltaic and around 1 MW in small hydro.


The necessity to conclude electricity trade agreements on the OPCOM centralized market by Catalin Micu, Managing Associate, Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu visions regarding electricity trading would be applicable both for producers of conventional electricity and for producers of electricity from renewable sources.

Law no. 123/2012 (the “Energy Law”) has entered into force on July 19th, 2012 and it transposes a number of European directives regarding the electric energy and natural gas domains.

As a result, financing institutions have become reluctant in financing new energy projects given the fact that such projects do not guarantee success, viability and return of investment, based on an agreement, for the selling of the produced electricity at a certain price and for a certain period of time. The above mentioned effect of the new provisions regarding the trading of electricity started a long debate in the market, involving market players, financial consultants, representatives of financing institutions, representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Business Environment.

One of the conclusions of such public debate was that the developers of new capacities – based on conventional sources or renewable sources – need to identify other mechanisms to finalize the implementation of their capacities. In order to secure the necessary proceeds for the development ofthe capacities, investors are trying to identify new solutions. Such solutions In this respect, the Electric Energy and might be: (a) implementation of state Natural Gas Law stipulates that “trad- guarantee systems to encourage fiing in electricity on the competitive nancial institutions to grant loans or market is done in a transparent, public, (b) changing the financing scheme, by centralized and non-discriminatory renouncing the bank loans and trying manner” and also that “the electric to share the risks of the business with energy producers are bound (…) to of- one or more partners through a prifer their entire output on the compet- vate equity investment. itive market publicly and without any Except for the above mentioned major discrimination”. effect, the necessity to conclude elecThe wording “public and centralized” tricity trade agreements on the OPjoint with “competitive market” indi- COM centralized market conducted cates the need and intervention of a to: (a) the fact that companies from market in order for the transactions the same group cannot use the energy to take place, respectively for such produced by one of them – given the transactions to take place on the OP- fact that the transactions will be made COM platform, the Romanian market on the OPCOM platforms there will be operator. an artificial increase of the price for electricity and (b) the lack of preAs a result, different from the legal dictability for the wholesale market provisions regarding the electricity price, circumstance that causes an trading contained by the former elec- instability of the retail market price, tricity law, the sole manner in which thus jeopardizing the industrial conelectricity producers can trade their sumers’ activity due to the fact that electricity production is on an elec- the latter cannot furthermore estitricity exchange market. mate the cost of energy. The anticipated novelties brought by the new Energy Law follow a larger general framework referring to the liberalization of the electric energy market, the increase of the transaction’s transparency and the increase of liquidity on the centralized transaction markets.

Considering this, the bilateral agreements so often used in the past are to be banned from use in what concerns the possibility of electricity producers to offer the output. Considering that the law makes no distinction, the pro-

Catalin Micu, Managing Associate, Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Local pharma industry faces tax and talent challenges As the Romanian pharmaceuticals market grew by 12.6 percent to around EUR 1.2 billion in the first half of this year, the industry is grappling with a destabilizing claw back tax and the ongoing quest to harness its talent, according to HR specialists and executives who attended last week’s Pharmaceutical Industry Roundtable, organized by Business Review. ∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA The pharmaceutical field is Europe’s fifth largest industrial sector and contributed EUR 48.3 billion to the EU’s trade surplus last year, according to data compiled by Boyden, the global executive search firm. Last year, the 2.6 percent growth for the five major European markets and 3.6 percent posted by the US market were dwarfed by emerging Brazil and China, which expanded by more than 20 percent. Nevertheless, companies invested more than EUR 27.5 billion in European R&D last year.

Chasing talent

evolve in other roles they will be happy,” said Angeliki Economou, HR manager at Janssen Romania. “Apart from medical representatives, there is no limit when it comes to mobility,” said Economou. The myth is that mobility is only useful in the case of senior roles. A focus on growth and addressing the talent shortage, as well as improving leadership capabilities, have helped boost growth this year, according to a survey carried out by Boyden. The firm sent a brief questionnaire to HRs, business directors, board members and CEOs in Romania’s pharma industry. The response rate of 11 percent allowed reliable conclusions to be drawn. “We are not so focused on new market challenges, increasing innovation or updating systems like IT, in sourcing or outsourcing,” said Anca Podoleanu, country manager, Boyden Global Executive Search Romania.






Claw back remains an issue In 2009 the government approved a claw back tax in an effort to control the budget allocated to medicines and to bring additional funds to the healthcare system. The tax has to be paid by pharmaceutical producers, who deem it uncertain and unsustainable. Authorities came up with the claw back mechanism in order to cover the budget deficit, according to Delia Belciu, partner at law firm Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP). “There have been four types of claw back until now and the first was set up in October 2009,” explained Belciu. She added that the tax had to be paid by holders of marketing licenses for medicines. Drugs included in national health programs, ambulatory care and those used in hospitals and dialysis centers are taxed. The fiscal agency ANAF became the collector of the claw back con-

Al photos: George Guta

Over 660,000 people were employed by this sector, including 20,000 in Romania, according to a 2010 study by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Companies are constantly looking for “high flying” employees, and knowing the features of the regional market can help you leapfrog competitors. The market in Central Europe must cope with the mobility of talent and emigration of well educated specialists, while the scientific talent pool is poor due to educational restrictions in the past, according to Kerstin Roubin, partner: healthcare practice leader at Boyden Global Executive Search Austria. Pharma companies still have difficulties in filling business unit, sales and business development positions. High staff turnover and low loyalty are other reasons for concern. However, it is not all bad news, as the region is registering increasing market volumes and employees have excellent language skills and intercultural understanding. The pool of well educated technicians is another advantage for Central Europe. “In Central and Eastern Europe the talent is more career oriented, more flexible,” said Roubin. High assessment standards and a decentralized recruitment processes are other necessities from employers looking to tap the talent pool. The industry could make Central Europe a hub by increasing investment incentives and improving labor laws, according to Roubin. Companies are fighting for talent in a competitive market, but developing the right skills is key to getting the upper hand in the pharma sector. “We need more people in interchangeable roles. If we have people that


1. The panel of experts tackled the main issues affecting the pharma market 2. Delia Belciu, senior associate, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) 3. Kerstin Roubin, partner: healthcare practice leader, Boyden Global Executive Search Austria 4. Angeliki Economou, HR manager, Janssen Romania 5. AnaMaria Miron, partner, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) 6. Anca Podoleanu, country manager, Boyden Global Executive Search Romania tribution in 2011. The government decided to make the claw back a fiscal contribution in the second version due to the significant sums that still had to be collected from companies, according to Ana-Maria Miron, partner at NNDKP. “It was rumored at some point before the advent of the second claw back that some EUR 800 million had gone uncol-

lected from the first claw back,” said Miron. The government recently approved an ordinance that offers a facility for payers in an effort to collect some money, and some players in the industry have taken advantage of it, according to Miron. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Intel finds strategic projects in Romania Set up in November 2010 following a multi-million USD investment, the Intel Romania Software Design Center has reached a headcount of 400 people. Monica Ene-Pietrosanu, country manager, who drives the Intel software agenda in Romania, tells BR what the company is looking for in a candidate, what type of projects are under way and what the teams from Wind River and Telmap, the two companies taken over by Intel in Romania, are working on. ∫ OTILIA HARAGA

How long does it take to become a senior at Intel? What we call senior is the role of principal engineer, which is the first stage in building a career on the technical side, equivalent to that of general manager. The next stage is Intel fellow, which is the equivalent of a vice-president job. To reach the stage of principal engineer, it normally takes ten years at least, though there are engineers who have achieved it in shorter periods. There are intermediary steps they must go through. Also, their relations with other principal engineers or Intel fellows in other locations are very important, because they can learn from them. How many interns are effectively employed at Intel? Generally, they come to work on a certain project at Intel for a set time. To be eligible, applicants must have finished

Courtesy of Intel

What is the current staff situation at Intel in Romania? In total, Intel has approximately 400 employees in Romania, including the local Wind River and Telmap subsidiaries. Approximately 100 people work in the software research and development center alone. We started with 16 people in November 2010 and we are now hiring senior developers and interns. At the moment, approximately 20 percent of our employees are students. The newest team in the Intel R&D center is the Yocto team, which is developing a set of tools for the creation of a distribution of Linux embedded. There is also the team of programmers working on developer tools. We are already in discussions over several new projects. Some of them are long term, with the research effort addressing the way technology will look in 2018 or 2020. Of course, these projects are confidential and are done through collaboration between various Intel R&D sites, located in USA, Israel and Europe. The good news is that Romania is starting to be more and more involved in strategic projects and engineers in the center have proven their technical expertise in various projects. We have at least six or seven teams within the center. I can say that salaries are above the average for the Romanian market.

classes no earlier than 18 months ago. We have short internships which last for three months during summer, aimed at students in their second or third year, and we also have long internships, which last between six months and one year, which address students in their final year or those doing a master’s. Depending on the length of the internship, they work on certain projects and at the end of the internship some are offered a full time job, depending on what vacancies we have. They do not have to convert full-time on the exact project they worked on. Many of them return to school or go to work for other software companies. We see this as an investment in the local ecosystem. A small percentage of them will remain at Intel. It depends a great deal on the growth we have at that particular moment. Many of them started their internships last year in December, so the period expires at the end of this year. We will find out, depending on our plans for next year and the number of positions we have open, how many of them can go for a position. What employment plans do you have through to the end of the year? We are working on plans for next year right now, since our fiscal year ends in December. We will probably not grow our headcount in a spectacular way, as we have up to ten vacancies. We wish to employ people for our open source

technology center which has a large presence, accounting for nearly a third of the Romanian R&D center. This involves development on Android, Tizen and Yocto, which are open systems. We also have open positions on the team that produces developer tools and also the platform technology analysis center team, which deals with the analysis and optimization of the performance of Intel platforms. As is the case with any R&D center, the principal initial investment is in the building, laboratories and computing equipment, but in time this continues with investments in salaries. As we grow our employee base, investments will also increase. The macro-economic situation is not very favorable, and many companies are downsizing their operations globally. Intel will continue to invest in the Romanian economy. How is the recruitment process going, and what are you looking for in a candidate? The first interviews are with the HR partners who make the selection, and then follow several technical interviews.

CV Monica Ene-Pietrosanu l appointed country manager of Intel

Romania Software Design Center in July 2011 l prior to Intel, she spent eight years at Microsoft in Redmond, WA, coordinating different R&D teams in the Windows Operating System Development Division l returned to Romania in 2005 and led the Microsoft Global Technical Support Center in Bucharest, most recently as site manager, for almost five years l graduated from the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers at the Polytechnic University in Bucharest in 1995 l graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Bucharest in 1996 l awarded a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at Polytechnic University in Bucharest in 2003

I think what is important for us is to see how the candidate thinks. They needn’t always have the perfect answer. Maybe they don’t, but what is important is how they go about finding the solution. I would mention entrepreneurial abilities as important. We want to see what prior projects they have worked on, what their role was and how they will manage in a team. Our teams must have initiative and spirit, as we are expecting innovation. How were Wind River and Telmap absorbed by Intel? What happened to their R&D teams? Their teams continue to work on projects they had under way. The reason Intel took over these two companies in Romania was the expertise they had in certain areas, because we wish to expand the pool of solutions we offer clients. They are Intel subsidiaries but have an operating system that is somewhat independent. In Romania, we are collaborating with Telmap and Wind River on academic projects, offering a larger selection of projects where students can get involved. For instance, Telmap is leader on the market of geolocation products while Wind River has expertise in the development of embedded products. In this way, we can come up with a richer range. At the moment, Telmap, an R&D center based in Bucharest with 100 people, focuses mainly on location-based services. Wind River is based in Galati, and has a team of approximately 200 people on development, testing, support etc. The center in Galati came from an acquisition, after Wind River bought Comsys Galati, after which Intel bought Wind River. Where do the projects they develop go? The pool of projects of these two subsidiaries continues to reach the market they had before, and moreover Intel is working with them on developing projects that bring added value to Intel platforms. The projects they develop, like in any multinational, are usually distributed across various geographies. They are not developed only in Romania but also in collaboration with other countries. Telmap has headquarters only in Israel and Bucharest while Wind River has headquarters all over the world. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Furniture firms table market recovery for 2013 After poor sales in the first half of this year, furniture retailers are pinning their hopes for better business on the second semester. But as Romanians remain price-conscious and manufacturers look for growth on external markets, the domestic market will continue to decline, players tell BR, and will most likely finish below the EUR 928 million level reported in 2011. ∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN Furniture sales on the domestic market are estimated to have reached EUR 378.2 million in the first half of the year and while the second semester should bring better results, the forecast is not promising, say representatives of the Romanian Furniture Manufacturers Association (Asociatia Producatorilor de Mobila din Romania, or APMR). Sales are expected to be below last year for this period too and further forecasts depend entirely on the evolution of purchasing power, they told BR. Highly dependent also on the construction and real estate field, the internal market is not showing signs of recovery, leaving many manufacturers and retailers with the only option of doing business outside the country. Furniture exports increased by 5 percent in the first semester of 2012 y-oy, says APMR. Exports to EU countries, and even more so, to markets outside the EU, should increase further next year, according to the same source. 2012 has been proving a particularly difficult year for the segment of high-end furniture. On top of this, the Romanian market for luxury furniture and interior decorations has been harder hit than elsewhere in Europe said Camelia Sucu, the owner of luxury furniture retailer Class Living, according to Mediafax. She hopes the company will return to profit in 2013 after last year it reported sales of RON 7.1 million (approximately EUR 1.67 million) and losses of RON 5.6 million (approximately EUR 1.3 million). Part of Class Living’s strategy to resume growth is to change its approach to customers, and focus on locally-manufactured furniture and exports. Back on the mass market segment, in the first semester of this year the local furniture market maintained a similar level to the first six months of 2011, Cristian Rusu, managing director of Romanian furniture manufacturer Rus Savitar, told BR. The company also runs the Casa Rusu furniture retail chain. Whether 2012 will be a better year

Sofa, not so good: the faltering real estate market has dented furniture sales, say players active in the field

overall than the previous one remains to be seen over the coming months, he said. “Our industry is strongly seasonal with the last months of the year being very dynamic,” he explained. As for what can be expected of 2013, Rusu says it is difficult to make predictions. “It is hard because an important determining factor will be the government’s macroeconomic stimulus measures as well as the evolution and any difficulties of EU member economies,” he said. After reporting a EUR 27 million turnover last year, Rus Savitar managed to increase its business by approximately 10 percent in the first half of 2012 y-o-y. The growth came from extending the company’s retail chain and franchised stores, launching new products and investing in better quality services and also from entering

new export markets, said Rusu. New Casa Rusu stores will be opened in the future and the company is currently considering expanding to Oradea, Iasi and Constanta. At present there is an increased demand for modular pieces of furniture which allow customized solutions. This is one of the reasons Rus Savitar has begun work to expand and modernize its furniture factory near Timisoara, which will require an investment of approximately EUR 5.8 million. This will allow the manufacturer to increase its production capacity fivefold, to 10,000 upholstered furniture products per month. Rus Savitar will also invest in a factory for customized pieces of furniture. The average shopping bill at Casa Rusu is RON 1,500 (approximately EUR 340), a similar level to the previ-

ous year. “The purchasing behavior has changed since the beginning of the crisis and now we are seeing a new consumer profile when it comes to acquiring durable goods. Romanians remain cautious and are waiting longer before making the final purchasing decision. They are also more demanding and buy only when the product fully satisfies their budget and quality demand,” he explained. Meeting customers’ budget constraints is however becoming more difficult, as just like in other industries, furniture manufacturers and retailers are facing pressure to hike prices due to higher costs of raw materials and energy bills. Given the low purchasing power this is not an option in most cases, with retailers choosing instead to reduce their profit margins. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012

Domestic furniture consumption (million euros) 2008




H1 2012






companies linked to the oil and gas industry,” said Weller. However there have been no real changes compared to the previous year. In terms of products, the demand was mainly for functional and ergonomic furniture. The value of projects undertaken by COS is between EUR 10,000 and EUR 500,000 with an average of EUR 50,000 per project without “any real change compared to last year”. Here too there is pressure to increase prices. “Our manufacturers have had no choice but to increase prices. But the effect has not been felt so strongly because both our manufacturers and ourselves took measures that resulted in lower profit margins,” said Weller. The company’s turnover last year was slightly higher than in 2010. As part of its sales strategy, COS has hired additional sales representatives and renegotiated contracts with its existing manufactures “in order to get their commitment to helping the company with its pricing strategy” and is now revamping its showroom

Source: APMR estimations

“There has been pressure to in- in the first six months of 2012, crease prices coming mainly from the Christophe Weller, managing partner fact that energy is more and more ex- of Corporate Office Solutions (COS), pensive (…). However we are making told BR. “It was simply due to the existence sustained efforts to maintain furniture prices at the same level,” said of more projects, meaning more comRusu. The fact that the company di- panies moving to new facilities or rerectly sells the furniture it manufac- vamping their existing workspace. tures enables it to come up with The reason for this trend is the curpromotions with discounts of up to 25 rent state of the real estate market, offering high quality workspaces at very percent. Austrian furniture retailer Kika says good rates. Therefore, some companies are overall it has not increased prices but there are products where prices have taking the opportunity of having a gone up because of the higher costs of tenant’s market to move to a new transportation and raw materials, space or to renegotiate their existing space at a better rate, which automatKika’s local CEO, Lars Lund, told BR. He says that so far this year the av- ically generates the need to buy new erage spend at Kika has increased by furniture,” he said. But just as there is a tenant’s mar18 percent and consumers are increasingly interested in additional ket for office real estate there is a services such as home planning, floor buyer’s market for office furniture. laying, putting up wallpaper and “Buyers know that opportunities to others, said the CEO. Next year the sell furniture are rarer these days so company plans to continue its promo- their project is becoming even more important for all the potential sellers. tional sales programs. The firm invested EUR 31 million Negotiations are harder and harsher,” back in 2008 in its first and currently he said, explaining that customers are only Bucharest store and says it is still making more informed choices by interested in a new one. “Securing looking more closely at the compagood land is the hardest part” said nies which are tendering and the products proposed. Lund. Demand continues to come mostly Office furniture buyers from IT companies, as well as professional services such as call centers drive a hard bargain On the office furniture segment, the and services support centers. “We’re market posted a slight increase also feeling an increasing presence of


in Bucharest. The first half of 2012 brought encouraging results but the company remains cautious about the rest of the year. “We believe it will be a good achievement to finish the year at the same level as last year,” he said. As for what can be expected of 2013, Weller is optimistic. “The future looks brighter. Major office buildings have started to be built or are nearly at that stage, so the 2013-2015 timeframe should boost the furniture market since these schemes will be completed and offered to major tenants. We are already hearing about some promising preleases and we are confident others will follow. If you compare Romania to north-western neighboring countries, you will see that there is still room for many more A class office buildings. In addition, there are some sectors that will provide more opportunities when the investments come at a bigger scale: healthcare, hospitality and education for instance,” he concluded. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Romania needs election-proof, long-term economic strategies Corina Vintan, General Manager Links Associates Corina Vintan is one of the pioneers of lobbying in Romania and her company, Links Associates, provides consultancy to large international corporations that have invested heavily in the country. With an extensive professional background, covering diplomacy, journalism and communications, Vintan has earned a reputation as one of the most capable lobbying specialists in Romania.  Q: Your company, Links Associates, represents some of the most important projects in terms of economic and social relevance for Romania. In which fields are your clients operating and what persuaded them to choose you? Corina Vintan: Links Associates has been hired by major companies present in Romania, companies with a fundamental role in the local economy as strategic investors, employers and taxpayers. We have clients operating in telecom, mining, industry, real estate, financial services, retail and other sectors. We have been  engaged to deal with their complex problems which need highlevel expertise in terms of strategy, political, economic and social analysis, domestic and international networking, mass media  as well as  civil society. The team at Links Associates has a proven track record of its capacity to master such expertise over the five years since it entered in the field of strategic communication. Q: Links Associates represents the interests of some big international corporations which have invested heavily in this country. How do foreign investors see Romania today, in a turbulent election year? CV: The investors advised by Links Associates are strongly committed to Romania on the long term. In return Romania owes them the same strong commitment, meaning more predictability and stability. What has happened lately in the country, the excessive politicization of decisions that have an impact on big investments, is a mistake, and one that needs to be amended urgently. A mature, responsible political class always serves the national interest. The political scene must regain credibility and wash away the per-

BUSINESS AGENDA October 11 14:00 T The US Embassy in Romania and the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police (IGPR) organize a press conference to present the results of an asset forfeiture initiative at the IGPR headquarters in Bucharest. By invitation only.

October 15 18:00 Renault organizes an event to market the launch of a new Clio model at Willbrook Convention Center. By invitation only.

October 16 10:00 Visa Europe organizes a press conference to present the results of its financial education program Bani IQ and to announce future plans at the Romanian National Library. By invitation only.

October 17 ∫EVENT 09:00 Business Review organizes the third edition of Focus on Power, an event that puts up for debate the recent developments in the energy sector, at Howard Johnson Grand Plaza Hotel. Find out more at

October 22

manent suspicion of ties with unsavory interest groups as a condition for Romania to become appealing for investors. We can speak, for instance, of a chapter where Romania has been extremely consistent and this is in its foreign policy, where all strategic objectives were met thanks to competitive diplomacy. The same is needed for the economy. Q: You have started to work on an ambitious project which involves both your diplomatic expertise and your lobbying skills. Can you tell us more about it? CV: Links Associates provides consultancy to several clients and is promoting their business interests both in Romania and in Europe. I am planning to help promote Romania's economic interests in the world arena where traditional diplomatic ties have been neg-

lected and the economic diplomacy was not convincing enough. I wish to offer my experience and my large network of relevant contacts/players  in the global economy to promote Romanian products in international markets. Economic diplomacy is currently a focus for me and I think this can be done even beyond the institutional framework. I am planning to build up a communication platform to promote Romania’s interests abroad. At  the same time, I continue to back my clients’ projects which will eventually reshape important economic sectors in the country. Last but not least, through  Community Links I support the project Lider Ovidiu, which is very dear to me. This is a mentorship program offering economics students access to internships at big corporations, as I believe that success in business and policy can be achieved by investing in education and by shaping thinking for future success.

CODECS organizes the graduation ceremony of the first promotion of the artcademy fashion business school program at its headquarters in Bucharest. Radu Mihaescu, president and general director of CODECS, will attend.

October 24 HART Consulting organizes the fifth edition of HART Strategic Conferences on talent management at JW Marriott Hotel. By invitation only.

October 25 Goodwill Consulting organizes a roundtable on state aid at Athenee Palace Hilton. By invitation only.

November 15 ∫EVENT 09:00 Business Review organizes the second edition of Focus on Agriculture, an event that will discuss the latest developments in the Romanian agricultural sector, at Ramada Plaza Bucharest. By invitation only. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012


Habitat for Humanity helps families rebuild their futures When 500 people are volunteering to build 14 homes for disadvantaged families with the financial and material support of multinational companies in only five days, a spectacular construction event is likely to ensue.

Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity

Another brick in the wall: the organization has helped 3,900 local families


t happened simultaneously in Preajba village, Dolj County and Oradea, Bihor County, thanks to the Romanian subsidiary of the Habitat for Humanity Organization. Modestly-sized houses which are large enough for the occupying family's needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum, with two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and bathroom, are now hosting 14 Romanian families with low incomes. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates these simple, decent houses. The families accepted by the Habitat program have to participate actively in the building of their own home and the homes of other beneficiary families in their community. Once the building is done, the partner families pay off the mortgage over 20 years at no interest, and invest up to 1,000 hours of sweat equity in other Habitat homes. The sums collected go into the Fund for Humanity, a rotating scheme that can help finance other construction sites and many more families. This is how the organization, which first appeared in 1976, operates and has managed to provide more than 500,000 families worldwide with homes. The organization has existed in Romania since 1996, and to date more than 3,900 families have been helped through Habitat for Humanity projects. The program has included the construction and rehabilitation of homes and apartment blocks, energy-efficient housing, affordable housing for vulnerable groups and a disaster response program.

Multinationals do their part This year, the Big Build project gathered major donors to help build the Habitat houses. Vodafone Foundation invested EUR 100,000 in this project and 300 employees volunteered on the site of Preajba village. Moreover, thanks to Wienerberger, the world’s largest brick producer, the houses were constructed with bricks, for the first time since the project started. Wienerberg became one of the program’s major donors by planning to build 140 homes in Romania, starting with these 14 houses that are now inhabited. Several other multinational companies and organizations also supported the project: Caminul Felix Oradea, Porsche Romania, Europharm, Celestica, Lafarge Romania, Good Sign, Ursa Romania, Elpreco, Kronospan, Dolj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Bihor Companies Association.

Romania’s need for houses According to Housing Condition in Europe, a report released by Eurostat in 2011, five million Romanian families are living in extreme poverty, one million do not have heating, drinking water or sewage facilities, 41.2 percent of the population do not have a bathtub or a shower, 55.3 percent of Romanians are living in overcrowded conditions, against a European average of 17.8 percent, while 28.6 percent are living in severely dilapidated homes, the biggest percentage in Europe. Business Review | October 15 - 21, 2012





BR welcomes information for Who’s News. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Get in touch at

Good Taste of Bucharest October 13-14 World Trade Plaza Bucharest Haute gourmet treasures, fine delicacies and an exquisite selection of truffles, Belgian pralines, special wines, fine drinks, patisserie, elegant teas, flavored coffee, royal cheese, rare books, top quality music and antiques await visitors who enjoy the finer things in life. International Tattoo Convention October 12-14 Turbohalle Tattoo and body piercing fans from around the world will meet in Bucharest for the annual International Tattoo Convention, the biggest event dedicated to body painting, piercing and tattoo art. Eames by Vitra Until October 14 The Ark

film, and the exhibition is an invitation to those who admire or are curious about the pair’s lifestyle and life products.

PERFORMANCE L’Elisir d’amore/The Elixir of Love October 14, 19.00 Bucharest National Opera L’Elisir d’amore/The Elixir of Love, a new Bucharest National Opera (ONB) production staged by Italian director Marco Gandini, features soprano Irina Iordachescu. The play, a masterpiece by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, is a sparkling comedy and one of the most popular operas ever. Donizetti’s 40th lyrical composition, it was written in only 14 days and contains Una furtiva lagrima, a beautiful aria that tenors aspire to sing. Tiberiu Soare will conduct. Status Quo Concert October 17, 20.00 Sala Palatului 70s UK legends Status Quo will play Romania for the first time. Fans will have the chance to rock out to the band’s classic hits and new material from their recent album, Quid Pro Quo. The Quo, whose hits include Rockin’ All Over the World and In the Army Now, has so far released 29 studio albums, 4 live albums, 7 compilations and 77 singles. Their songs have spent a total of 415 weeks in the British charts.

Eames by Vitra is a retrospective exhibition of Charles and Ray Eames, two of the most famous American designers of the 20th century. This American duo made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and

Hayden, Beethoven, Brahms symphonic concert October 18, 19.00 The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra Under the wand of the conductor Jin Wang, soloist Dominique Merlet will perform Joseph Haydn’s Symphonic no 92, in G-major, Oxford, Hob. I: 92; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto no 2 for piano and orchestra in B-major, op. 19; and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony no 3, in F-major, op. 90.

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X

FOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor SENIOR JOURNALIST Otilia Haraga JOURNALISTS Simona Bazavan, Ovidiu Posirca, Oana Vasiliu COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe COLLABORATORS Anda Sebesi ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean PHOTO EDITOR: Mihai Constantineanu PHOTOGRAPHER Laurentiu Obae LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu

Mariana Gheorghe the CEO of oil and gas company OMV Petrom, is the first Romanian to be included in the Fortune 50 annual ranking of businesswomen, where she took 32nd position out of 50 managers worldwide. Gheorghe, 56, has been CEO of OMV Petrom for six years, a period in which the company has substantially improved its financial performance. Its 2011 net profit grew by 72 percent to RON 3.75 billion (over EUR 800 million), while sales moved up by 21 percent to RON 22.6 billion (close to EUR 5 billion). During her tenure, OMV Petrom has teamed up with US ExxonMobil to explore a gas and oil deposit in the Black Sea.

Mihai Macelaru has joined Noerr as senior associate in the company’s corporate/M&A department. He will coordinate the M&A division and focus on offering structured consultancy to the company’s clients as well as extending the M&A business. Macelaru has extensive professional experience in structuring and organizing due diligence cases, preparing the necessary documentation and negotiating M&A transactions, greenfield investments and corporate restructuring. Over the past nine years he has worked for several leading local law firms and has been involved in major M&A transactions.

Lucian Anghel chief economist and head of the strategy and research division at BCR, has been appointed president of the directorate and general director of BCR Pensii, the pensions arm


of the Austrian lender. The appointment is pending confirmation from the private pension regulator. Anghel was elected this January as board president of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. He stared his banking career in 1996, making his way up to counselor to BCR’s president, analyst and deputy treasurer. Anghel has been chief economist and executive director of BCR’s strategy and research division since 2007. In addition, he was a member of the board of directors at Erste Asset Management and BCR Asset Management for five years.

Bogdan Balaci has stepped down from the position of CEO of IBM Romania and will be replaced by Michael Paier, the general manager for IBM in South Eastern Europe. Balaci became IBM’s CEO at the beginning of 2011, replacing Mihai Tudor, who had been promoted to regional level. Balaci joined the company 13 years ago. He holds an MBA from Henley Management College.

Madalina Dumitru is the new marketing regional manager SEE for Xella Group. She will be responsible for coordinating the company’s marketing activities in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Dumitru has previously held the country marketing manager position at Ruukki Romania and Bulgaria. She has professional experience in sales, negotiations and marketing and has also worked as a construction engineer. Dumitru graduated from the University of Construction.

PUBLISHER Bloc Notes Media ADDRESS No. 10 Italiana St., 2nd floor, ap. 3 Bucharest, Romania LANDLINE Editorial: Office: EMAILS Editorial: Sales: Events:

Business Review Issue 33/2012 October 15 - 21  

Stefanos Theocharopoulos, CEO of Cosmote Romania and Romtelecom (left), has announced the mobile firm will roll out 4G services next year. C...

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