News: Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the former head of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service, is the country’s new prime minister, following the resignation of Emil Boc in the wake of weeks of street protests »page 6
ROMANIA’S PREMIERE BUSINESS WEEKLY
FEBRUARY 13 - 19, 2012 / VOLUME 16, NUMBER 4
REGIONAL FOCUS THOUGH FAR FROM BEING A TOP TARGET FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT, ROMANIA OUTPLAYS NEIGHBORING STATE HUNGARY IN SEVERAL AREAS. BR ANALYZES THE TWO RIVALS FOR FDI »PAGE 8
THE ELECTION EFFECT Romania is facing two rounds of elections this year, leaving companies asking what the short- and longterm impact of the ballots on their business will be »page 10
Photo: Mihai Constantineanu
Blue Air management is planning the country’s first private airport, while the carrier gears up for the big switch to Otopeni » page 3
Central bank governor Mugur Isarescu has urged local lenders to stop raising interest rates on savings to increase liquidity » page 4
Minister Leonard Orban has called on Romania to up its EU funds absorption rate to fill the gap left by declining FDI » page 4
A panicking pope is the pitiable protagonist of a powerful comedy-drama from the Italian direction Nanni Moretti » page 4
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
3Q Marian Popa
NEWS in brief HR France seeks local senior software developers
managing director Endava for Central and Eastern Europe
The National Agency for Labor Force (ANOFM) is organizing a contest to find 20 senior software developers who will be employed in French companies. The applicants must be specialized in WEB PHP and Java. They must be aged between 28 and 35, have sound knowledge of French and a professional background of four-five years. The gross salary on offer is EUR 25,000- EUR 35,000 per year, according to the ANOFM press release.
You have said Romania can transform IT into a dominant sector within 20 years. How? This is due to the good professional background of graduates, proximity to the major world centers, common culture and IT infrastructure in progress. The government should keep the existing facilities. The universities’ output should be supplemented based on demand from the industry – meaning the number of IT graduates should be increased. More of the big cities around the country should be directly connected to the international airline transportation network, to list just a few suggestions. From the industry’s viewpoint, it would help to create one single association compared to the multitude of IT associations that exist now and which, because they are fragmented, have limited efﬁciency and status.
What type of projects do you deliver abroad versus in Romania? Endava delivers from its Romanian centers software solutions and IT services, especially for large corporations in Great Britain and the USA, which include three of the top ten ﬁnancial institutions in the world, insurance companies, credit card companies, telecom companies and media groups. Locally, the most sought-after solutions are mainly ERP and CRM, and Romanian companies have recently become interested in document management solutions. Our foreign clients require software solutions on demand – from specialized solutions for the ﬁnancial banking system to online platforms for consumer brands, sports events and online services companies.
What evolution do you forecast for Endava in 2012? This year, Endava estimates it will double its number of employees in Romania to more than 750 people. Approximately 20 percent of the jobs available in Iasi and Cluj-Napoca are for entry-level candidates, while the rest are split evenly between mid-weight and senior candidates. In Bucharest, most job opportunities will address mid-weight and seniors. Turnover-wise, we plan to keep growing at the same rate as we have over the past two-three years when Endava has posted sustained organic growth. During the ﬁnancial year July 2010-June 2011, the Endava group reported a consolidated turnover of EUR 34 million, 25 percent up on the previous year. firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian carmaker Tata Motors negotiates investment in Cluj Indian carmaker Tata Motors is currently negotiating with local authorities in Cluj its entry onto the Romanian market via an investment in the Tetarom 3 industrial park in Jucu. “The Cluj county council is in negotiations with representatives of Tata Motors over the start of an investment. These discussions will continue over the coming period. Company representatives have already visited the Tetarom 3 Industrial Park. I cannot provide information regarding the value of the investment or the estimated number of jobs,” Alin Tise, president of the Cluj county council, told Mediafax newswire.
MSL Logistic Services opens pharma warehouse MSL Logistic Services, an independent logistics provider for the pharmaceuticals industry, has increased its storage capacity by 50 percent by investing EUR 600,000 in a new warehouse. The warehouse has a storage capacity of 1,800 sqm and was completed in December. The facility will be able to accommodate any pharmaceutical product that requires special storage conditions. MSL estimates an 80 percent occupancy rate for the new warehouse and expects to increase its turnover by 50 percent this year.
POWER Enterprise Investors eyes Romania for wind energy projects Private equity fund Polish Enterprise Fund VI, which is managed by Enterprise Investors, has launched Wento, an investment vehicle that will handle the construction of wind farms in Poland as well as other CEE markets, including Romania. Wento is already performing due diligence for three projects with installed capacity of 200 MW. The fund will invest around EUR 40 million in wind parks in Poland. Once completed, the farms will be sold to strategic or financial investors.
Deregulated electricity prices delayed by two years Regulated prices in electricity for household consumers will be phased out gradually by 2017 rather than 2015, said Istvan Szekely, head of the European Commission in Romania. However, there will be no delay for industrial consumers, where adjusted prices will be enforced from 2013. The troika (European Commission, International Monetary Fund, World Bank) will discuss the deregulation of gas prices in the next review mission scheduled for April. .
WEEK in numbers
6.6 million Romanians live in acute poverty, according to the most recent Eurostat data, from 2010
PROPERTY AFI Europe gets EUR 13.4 mln loan for Cotroceni business park Real estate investment and development company AFI Europe has taken out a EUR 13.4 million loan from UniCredit Bank Austria to finance the construction of the first office building of AFI Business Park Cotroceni. The project will comprise five class A office blocks, with the first set to be delivered in August. AFI Business Park Cotroceni is located at the crossroads of Timisoara and Vasile Milea Boulevards. The project will have a total leasable surface of about 70,000 sqm and will be connected to the AFI Cotroceni commercial center.
7 million euros is the value of the restoration works planned at Bucharest’s Triumph Arch
cated in the Giulesti neighborhood, could be opened by the end of December following a EUR 15 million investment. The second project will be built in Ghencea on the grounds of the Tricodava industrial platform. The development of the two projects will be handled through Immochan, Auchan Group’s property management division.
Proﬁ announces stock liquidation
Enterprise Investors, which owns the local discount store chain Profi, has announced that it will close all its outlets on February 13, by when its stores will liquidate their supplies. According to media reports the company plans to reposition its outlets and will reopen them the next day, on February 14, as supermarkets. The company, however, has not made any plan public. Profi had a national network of 108 stores at the end of 2011. The retailer announced last year that EUR 10 million would be invested in the Profi business.
Mega Image could open 80 stores this year After opening five stores in January, Mega Image could add another 75 new units to its local chain by yearend, according to Ziarul Financiar, which quotes market sources. The retailer now operates 110 shops in Romania, 33 of which were opened in 2011. Mega Image is owned by Belgian retailer Delhaize. It runs the Mega Image supermarkets and the Shop&Go proximity stores. For the latter the company has announced that it has launched a franchise.
Auchan to develop two malls in Bucharest French retailer Auchan, which runs nine hypermarkets in Romania, has officially announced that it will invest in developing two shopping malls in Romania between 2012 and 2013. The first, to be lo-
Bucharest gets EUR 20 mln facelift Several tourist attractions in the Romanian capital will be revamped after over EUR 20 million (RON 90 million) of financing contracts were inked by the Ministry of Tourism and the Bucharest City Hall, mostly financed from reimbursable funds, according to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism. The contracts will see the modernization of the Triumph Arch and also help improve the area between the Iuliu Maniu Blvd-Virtutii St-Politehnica Alley-Cetatuia Alley, where the infrastructure will be modernized.
TRANSPORT CFR puts EUR 500 mln into railway upgrade National railway operator CFR will modernize the country’s railway infrastructure using EUR 479 million of non-reimbursable funds from the EU. Around EUR 248 million will be used to build the Curtici-Arad border railway, which is expected to be completed in 15 months. A consortium made up of Alstom-Sweitelsky-Astaldi and Euro Construct Trading '98-Dafora will build the line. Another EUR 208 million has been approved for the 23 km Sighisoara-Atel route, which will be built by the FCC-Alpine-Azvi consortium.
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
4 NEWS AIRLINES
Blue Air moves to Otopeni, talks expansion
February 13 11:00 Proﬁ organizes a press conference to present the situation of the chain store at its shop in Orsova street. Pawel Musial, general director of Proﬁ, will attend.
February 14 08:00 AvocatNet.ro organizes a conference on the ﬁscal changes expected this year at Athenee Palace Hilton. By invitation only. 14:00 Flanco organizes a press conference to present its ﬁnancial results for 2011 and the plans for this year. February 15 09:00 HR Manager organizes a conference on labor legislation at Howard Johnson Hotel. By invitation only. February 16 09:00 The Polish Embassy in Romania and Deloitte organize a seminar on the capital markets at Intercontinental Hotel. By invitation only. 11:00 Garanti Romania organizes a press conference to present its ﬁnancial results for 2011 and the estimates for 2012 at Radisson Blu Hotel. By invitation only. February 16 - 17 IMM Forum, an event dedicated to SMEs, will take place at Romexpo Exhibition Center. Representatives of the banking sector, consultancies, IT & software companies, together with members of public authorities will attend. More info at www.immexpo.ro. February 22 ∫EVENT 20:00 BR organizes the seventh edition of the Annual Investment Awards at Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel. Details at www.business-review.ro/events. By invitation only. By invitation only. February 23 10:00 The National Council of Small and Medium Sized Private Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR) organizes a seminar on ways to boost enterprises during the economic crisis, at its headquarters in Bucharest. By invitation only. February 29 ∫EVENT BR organizes the ﬁrst edition of the Access to Finance forum. The event will focus on PPP, EU Funds and State Aid. Details at www.businessreview.ro/events. By invitation only.
udget carrier Blue Air will run all its flights from and move its operational base to the Henri Coanda International Airport (Otopeni) from March 25, following the authorities’ decision to transfer low-cost flights from their present hub at Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (Baneasa). The shift will not cause a significant hike in fares, according to Sherif Ussama, GM of Blue Air. “Some have spoken of price increases of EUR 4, 5 or 10. In fact, prices are set by supply and demand and on most of our routes they will not increase,” he said. The company reported fewer than 1.5 million passengers last year, down by about 200,000 against 2009. The decrease comes after the airline reduced its flight capacity by 15 percent in 2011, following a restructuring program. Blue Air estimates a EUR 149.5 million turnover for 2011, down 9 percent y-o-y, but said that it has managed to “slightly” increase its profitability. This year it is hoping for a turnover increase of 3 to 4 percent. For
Courtesy of Blue Air
Flight path: Blue Air is expanding 2012 Ussama has disclosed that the airline has plans to expand to a neighboring country but the only detail he gave was that it was not Hungary. The airline has also announced that it will increase its number of flights on several routes. At peak season it will operate 85 flights per week from Otopeni and another 37 from Bacau, its second hub. For this the carrier has acquired two more airplanes and a third should be
added this summer, taking Blue Air’s fleet to 10 aircraft. Talking about plans previously announced by the owner of Blue Air, Nelu Iordache, to build the first private airport in Romania, company representatives said that works on the infrastructure could start next year. The airport will be located in Adunatii Copaceni, 20 km south of Bucharest. “A new airport to serve Bucharest is necessary regardless of whether it is the one in Adunatii Copaceni or another one,” said Adrian Ionascu, deputy general director of Blue Air. He added that the monopoly of the state-owned company that runs the Henri Coanda and Aurel Vlaicu international airports in Bucharest must somehow be broken. The Adunatii Copaceni airport project will require an estimated investment of EUR 200 million. According to Blue Air representatives, negotiations with banks to obtain the necessary financing are in an advanced stage. ∫ Simona Bazavan
Isarescu advises banks to quell savings trend
he governor of the National Bank, Mugur Isarescu, has called for banks to stop raising interest rates on savings in order to increase their liquidity. At present, interest rates on savings range from 6 to 8 percent, although the central bank slashed the key interest rate three times to 5.5 percent in early February. The inflation rate stood within the 3 percent target pursued by the central bank. In comments made while presenting the quaterly inflation report, Isarescu said, “It is fine for people to save money, but they then consume less. The prospect of consumption acting as a growth engine depends on the attitude of Romanians and banks who are competing to gain customers, which can be a double edge sword.” There are eight subsidiaries of foreign banks in Romania, which have been backed by capital flows from mother banks, but the sovereign debt crisis in the EU and fears that the Euro zone may slowly fall back into recession have made the Romanian subsidiaries increase cap-
Mugur Isarescu, National Bank governor ital from domestic sources. “The governor was taking a Keynesian approach because if people are saving too much now the economy will not work, but Romania structurally needs more savings,” said economist and former fi-
nance minister Daniel Daianu. “The thesis that only foreign capital can ensure growth has been proven flawed, and Romania will need to develop a growth engine that focuses more on domestic savings, and less on the markets,” adds Daianu. Setting up a new bank or recapitalizing state-owned CEC Bank could help the domestic business environment, suggested by Daianu. Isarescu advises banks to reduce their retail networks, as Romanians are somewhat indebted, and switch to financing infrastructure projects. The governor said that lending to the private sector has steadily grown since 2010, but retail lending is still negative. At the same time, mortgage lending has fallen. The loan-to-deposit ratio in the Romanian banking system was 116 percent at end-December 2011, while the nonperforming loan ratio was 14 percent, according to the central bank. Retail and corporate deposits totaled RON 187 bilion. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca
EU funds to fuel Romanian economic growth
eonard Orban, minister of European Affairs, has said that Romania has few growth options remaining, and a better absorption rate of EU funds could fill the void left by foreign investments. From a maximum of EUR 16 billion in 2008 foreign direct investments (FDI) plummeted to EUR 2 billion last year and the estimates are not optimistic for 2012 either. “This year we have ambitious targets for EU fund absorption. We want to attract EUR 3.5 billion in cohesion funds, from EUR 1 billion achieved last year, and for agriculture we want to reach EUR 2.5 billion,” said Orban. The EUR 6 billion absorption rate will be crucial in the ongoing negotiations for the new EU budget that will be rolled out
through to 2020, as Romania will be allocated fewer funds if it fails to absorb more in the current EU budget that ends in 2013. Orban said European funds will need to address local youth unemployment, which stood at 23.4 people at end-November. Although this is better than in Spain or Greece, where the rate is close to 50 percent, the issue is still critical. Around 720,000 Romanians are currently out of work. Industry delocalization is another hot EU topic, from which Romania has already suffered. Nokia closed its manufacturing plant in Cluj, due to lower demand for mobile phones produced here, and the company decided last week to move all manufacturing from the EU to Asia.
Valentin Lazea, chief economist at the National Bank of Romania, argues that Europe should fight delocalization through education, not regulation. The economist thinks industries will choose destinations where labor is cheap and educated. “In Europe, including Romania, labor is no longer cheap nor well trained, and we should look at countries with an efficient education system, because unemployment is lower there,” said Lazea. Romania’s economic growth for 2011 is thought to have reached 2.5 percent of GDP, but estimates from international financial institutions halved the growth this year. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
6 NEWS POLITICS
Mihai Razvan Ungureanu
Romania gets new cabinet Courtesy of Gov.ro
I, spy: Ungureanu headed the SIE Ungureanu, 44, has left the director position he had held at Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) for almost five years, to become prime minister after Emil Boc and half of the ministers under his command resigned. The new PM combines a strong academic background in history with diplomatic expertise. Ungureanu began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998 as
Courtesy of Gov.ro
Out with the old: the new cabinet contains a number of younger ministers
fter a week of political turmoil that started with the resignation of the Emil Boc executive, Romania now has a new government. The executive was sworn in by Parliament, with 237 votes in favor and only two votes against. As many as 232 votes were needed for the new executive to pass. Opposition members refused to vote in Parliament when the government was sworn in. Headed by recently appointed prime minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the new cabinet is made up of young politicians, the average age being approximately 44. Crucial portfolios such as the economy, finance, transportation and communication portfolios will be handled by young ministers. None of the former ministers who were part of the Democrat Liberal Party remain in office. The ministers of the former Boc government who keep their positions in the new executive are Marko Bela (Hungarian Democrat Party, UDMR) as deputy PM, Catalin Predoiu as minister of Justice, Leonard Orban (both independent) as minister of European Affairs, Kelemen Hunor for culture, Laszlo Borbely for environment, Ritli Ladislau (all UDMR) for health, Cristian Diaconescu for external affairs, and Gabriel Oprea (both National Union for Romania’s Progress) as minister of Defense. “I am asking of the future members of the cabinet competence, professionalism, responsibility, decency, modesty and willingness to engage in dialog, so the intentions of the government can be heard. I do not start from the idea that I will be replaced. I will not be a prime minister who comes to the head of the government just to leave,” said Ungureanu upon his appointment. “I am in favor of dialog with representatives of the opposition parties because together we are responsible for this country.” Despite the boycott of the vote, the conciliatory tone of the speech made by Victor Ponta, head of one of the parties in
opposition, leaves room for speculation that the PSD will cooperate with the new government. Romania’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will continue even under the new executive, said Jeffrey Franks, head of the IMF mission to Romania last week. “I don’t see any reason why this event would have any impact on the agreement. We expect this agreement to continue,” said Franks. Representatives of the IMF, European Commission and World Bank ended last week the fourth mission for the evaluation of the stand-by cautionary agreement with Romania and recommended the release of a new installment of approximately EUR 505 million at the end of March. The resignation of the former head of the cabinet, Emil Boc, and the appointment of the new executive did not go unnoticed in the world, as international media outlets spilled some ink on who the new Romanian PM is and what led to his selection. “Romania's president nominated the country's intelligence service chief as prime minister hours after Emil Bloc resigned amid austerity protests,” reported the BBC, while Reuters noted that Ungureanu had replaced all ruling party ministers “in an attempt to make a clean break from his predecessor who quit after protests against his austerity measures.” On Boc’s resignation, The Guardian wrote that “the scalp of Emil Boc is just the latest victory for protesters, who are in no mood to tolerate the antics of their ‘player-president’.” Boc “resigned on Monday in the wake of weeks of public protests against austerity measures and a deadly spell of bitterly cold weather. The resignation makes Romania the sixth European country to see a PM fall amid the debt crisis sweeping European Union member states,” reported CNN. ∫ Otilia Haraga
state secretary, and then moved in Vienna, to coordinate the South East European Cooperation initiative (SECI) for two years. He was appointed Foreign Affairs minister in 2004, but was forced to resign three years later, after two Romanian workers were kidnapped in Iraq. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, PM at that time, accused the minister of having failed to inform the government of the critical situation, communicating only with President Traian Basescu. After the incident, he briefly returned to the SECI, before Traian Basescu appointed him head of the SIE. Ungureanu has a PhD in History from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi and became professor at the History Faculty of Bucharest University in 2007. He has published over 50 research papers and had several scholarships abroad.
AT THE TOP TABLE: NEW MINISTERS Lucian Bode Economy The 37-year-old was a local counselor for eight years before becoming a Member of Parliament. He has an engineering degree and worked for seven years at electricity distributor Electrica.
Gabriel Berca Administration and Interior 43 years old, Berca has experience in public administration, as prefect of Bacau County and state secretary in the government’s general secretariat. He has a degree in material science engineering and took courses in France on public administration.
Cristian Petrescu Regional Development and Tourism Petrescu, 40, has had several positions in the public administration since 1993, mainly in tourism bodies, and is an MP. He has a degree in physical education and sports, and a master’s degree in ecotourism and environment protection.
Alexandru Nazare Transportation Nazare, 31, has been state secretary in the Ministry of Transportation and the Public Finance Ministry, and was also a ministerial advisor. He has a degree in political science and another in international relations.
Catalin Baba Education The 44-year-old has a strong academic background, as lecturer and dean at the Political Science
Faculty of Babes-Bolyai University. He was state secretary in a governmental workgroup on education and has written books on educational policy.
Razvan Mustea Communication Mustea, 33, has a PhD in economics and was the coordinator of an MBA program in Romania. He was also active in sales for six years, before moving into management consultancy.
Claudia Boghicevici Labor 36-year-old Boghicevici worked for the child protection authorities for eight years, prior to becoming an MP. She has a PhD in economics and has written several books and research papers on social assistance management.
Bogdan Dragoi Public Finance Dragoi, 31, worked as business analyst for a UK-based consultancy, and launched the first digital television station in Romania, prior to becoming state secretary in the Ministry of Public Finance. He has degrees in economics and international relations from Tufts University and Fletcher.
Stelian Fuia Agriculture 44, worked at Monsanto Corporation for seven years, later serving as executive at other agriculture companies, prior to becoming an MP. He has a PhD in agricultural management and marketing.
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Last week started with a bang, when Prime Minister Emil Boc announced his resignation. Surprisingly, the EURO-RON exchange rate reaction was fairly muted. The Romanian stock market responded quite badly initially with the BET-FI index (which comprises SIF1, SIF2, SIF3, SIF4, SIF5 and the Property Fund) falling close to 4 percent immediately following the announcement of the resignation. But as the day progressed, the markets recovered based on the prospective new government that will soon take shape. As the next few days passed the markets continued to move higher and higher, culminating with a gain of 3 percent on Thursday when the new Prime Minister Mihai Ungureanu and his cabinet were voted in by Parliament. Overall the BET-FI index posted an almost 8 percent rise from Monday to Thursday. Chart 1
As you can see from the chart, the BET-FI index is entering an ascending channel and every investor should be safe as long as this channel holds and no downside break-out happens. The next chart shows the yearly BET-FI chart starting in 2001. As you can see from the line, the decade-long Bull Market is impressive and still continues. Chart 2
Important economic data to be released next week: Mon 13 Feb ROM – Balance of Payments Tue 14 Feb EU - German ZEW Economic sentiment (for February) EU – Industrial Production (for December) GBP – Consumer price index (for January) US – Retail sales (for January) Wed 15 Feb EU – French, German, Italian GDP (for the fourth quarter of 2011) USA – Industrial production (for January) Thu 16 Feb USA – Producer price index (for January) USA – Philadelphia manufacturing index (for February) Fri 17 Feb USA – Consumer price index (for January) Next week I'm expecting good economic results to push the markets even higher. The problematic yields of government bonds from Spain and Italy have eased to comfortable levels. The Greece saga seems like it might be coming to an end and because no other dark clouds are looming at the horizon I predict the markets will go higher and higher and the Romanian market will continue the uptrend. Vasile Szakacs Stock market analyst, trader and owner of www.consultantabursa.ro, which provides consultancy services for Romanian stock market investments
STOCK EXCHANGE REVIEW 7
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
Photo: Mihai Constantineanu
Romania battles Hungary for investment spotlight With poor infrastructure and high levels of bureaucracy and corruption, Romania is still far from being foreign investors’ top target. But, for now at least, it has several advantages over its neighbor, Hungary. Bosch, DeLonghi and Tata Motors are some of the companies that have announced their intentions to invest in Romania. ∫ ANDA SEBESI The whole of the continent is in a stew at the moment, as many countries in both Western and Eastern Europe are facing different economic difficulties and are struggling to get through them without incurring too much damage. While the ratings agency Fitch recently downgraded five Euro zone states, Italy and Spain among them, Hungary is undergoing political and economic difficulties. And in Romania Emil Boc and his cabinet stepped down at the beginning of last week. In the midst of this political turmoil all countries are seeking to maintain their economic balance and improve their financial situation. Herbert Stepic, general manager of Raiffeisen, said at the beginning of the year that Central and Eastern European countries were still posting higher economic growth than their counterparts in Western Europe because they are continuing the changing process, while people are constantly increasing their efficiency. In other words, good news for countries like Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Despite the political and economic changes that both Romania and Hungary have faced in recent months, they remain
interesting targets for foreign investors who want to extend their operations and have decided to invest in the region. But what are the odds of Romania becoming a more attractive target for foreign investors in the future? When Finnish group Nokia announced in September last year that it would stop the production of mobile phones at its plant in Jucu as part of a
“For foreign investors, both Hungary and Romania are emerging markets in the European Union. They have a high potential for growth and a much higher level of proﬁtability, if the current EU ﬁnancial and macroeconomic problems are solved” Dragos Cabat program to increase efficiency and reduce costs, local authorities were gloomy. Specialists warned that Romania could-
n’t afford to lose large investors. Nokia alone had invested about EUR 60 million in its Jucu plant in February 2008 when it became operational. Fortunately 2012 has brought with it two pieces of good news: the Italian household appliance producer DeLonghi will extend its business in Romania by buying the Nokia factory in Cluj, while German group Bosch announced that it would rent 215,000 sqm in the Cluj area where it will invest about EUR 77 million. The company expects to create over 300 new jobs in the first phase. Meanwhile, Indian carmaker Tata Motors is currently negotiating with local authorities in Cluj its entry on the Romanian market via an investment in the Tetarom 3 industrial park in Jucu. While this is encouraging news for the business community, Romania is far from being a top target for foreign investments. According to data from the National Bank of Romania (BNR) cited by Romania Trade & Investment (the Romanian Center for Promoting Foreign Trade and Investments), between 2008 and 2010 foreign direct investments fell by nearly 77 percent, from EUR 9.5 billion to EUR 2.2 billion. In addition, in the first ten months of last year the level of FDI was EUR 1.3 bil-
lion. However, according to specialists at AT Kearney, in 2011 Romania remained attractive for global services, ranking 25th among 50 countries worldwide included in the list. In addition, within the region Romania out-performed its traditional competitors such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In such conditions, how will Romania convince investors to come here instead of going to Hungary? What are the main advantages that Romania could offer potential investors compared with its neighbor? “For foreign investors, both Hungary and Romania are emerging markets in the European Union. Hence, they have a high potential for growth and a much higher level of profitability, if the current EU financial and macroeconomic problems are solved,” says Dragos Cabat, partner at efin.ro. But he warns that the two countries’ high dependency on commercial relations with the EU is a real millstone. “It is hard to believe that those investors interested in EU members will pay more attention to Romania because of the problems that Hungary is facing at the moment. On the contrary, I think that Hungary’s problems will have a ‘regional contagion’ effect and will make investors even more cautious than they were anyway about this region,” says Cabat. At present Hungary has several disadvantages compared to Romania, which have appeared recently: it has an authoritarian political system that is also unenthusiastic about the EU and takes an aggressive approach towards the IMF and other international financial institutions, which is about to change only under pressure from the EU and because of its financial problems. “We are in a family relationship with the IMF. We are shareholders at the IMF so this institution is not our commander. We don’t beg for money and we don’t have to be forced. We are a family and we have the right to a preventive support program,” said Gyorgy Matolcsy, the Hungarian minister of economy, recently. Such talk has done little to soothe Hungary’s relationship with international organizations. “As a consequence of the Hungarian authorities’ weird behavior, the country’s ratings are at ‘junk’ level and lower than Romania’s (e.n. investment grade). As a competitive advantage on the long term, Romania has a more balanced structure of industrial production facilities and a qualified workforce who speak English well. More recently, the flexibility of working relationships and the lower level of taxes are also to Romania’s advantage,” says Cabat.
Poor local infrastructure… According to a report by the World Economic Forum, quoted by Mediafax, Romania is ranked 134th out of 139 countries for the quality of its roads. Despite being the ninth largest country in the EU, Romania has only 313 km of motorways, less than three percent of the German motorway network. Meanwhile, in Hungary for example, the State Motorway Management Co. Ltd., founded in August 2000 by the merger of three companies, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of roughly three quarters of the country’s highway system. This totals more than
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
ROMANIA Strengths: l
Better macroeconomic indicators (at present and predicted) l Lower level of VAT (24 percent) l Stable currency l Better rating – investment grade l Flexibility in relations with the IMF and other international ﬁnancial institutions l More balanced structure of industrial production facilities l Flexibility of working relationships l High potential for growth
Poor infrastructure High level of bureaucracy and corruption l Temporary political difﬁculties l Insufﬁcient state support for private companies l Low level of absorption of EU funds l High dependency on commercial relations with EU l
700 km of highway, some 200 km of motorway and roads and a 366 km long road junction branch. Romania’s poor infrastructure has the effect of deterring foreign investors, say commentators. And the problems don’t stop there. “Romania has a high level of bureaucracy, corruption and the legal and judicial system is very complex and inefficient. The state doesn’t support private companies, for example in collecting debts from debtors,” says Stefan Ponea, CEO & managing partner at Industrial Access. Mercedes chose to invest in Hungary instead of Romania back in 2008 because of Romania’s lack of infrastructure. As a result, Daimler decided to extend its Rastatt plant with an investment of EUR 600 million and to build an EUR 800 million new plant in Kecskemet, Hungary. The two plants will operate as a production network. The Kecskemet plant will manufacture two of the four models from the new Mercedes-Benz premium compact vehicle generation and will have an annual production capacity of more than 100,000 units. The plant will ultimately employ more than 2,500 people. The production of customer vehicles is planned to begin early this year.
FOCUS 9 Commission and IMF expect Romania to post economic growth above that of the Euro zone. In addition, the inflation rate is the lowest in the past 20 years while Romania has the smallest public debtper-capita in the EU. The unemployment rate is two points below the EU average, the EUR-RON exchange rate is stable and the budgetary deficit is under control, with no financing problems. By contrast, according to Eurostat data released last week and cited by Portfolio.hu, by the end of the third quarter of 2011, Hungary’s debt-to-GDP ratio had inched up to 82.6 percent from 82.4 percent a year earlier. In addition, compared with the second quarter of 2011, fourteen EU member states registered an increase in their debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2011, and thirteen a decrease. The highest ratio increases were recorded in Hungary (+4.8 percentage points), Greece (+4.4 pp) and Portugal (+3.6 pp), and the largest decreases in Italy and Malta (both -1.6 pp) and Romania (-1.0 pp). Also, Hungary intends to sign a preventive financing agreement with the IMF and EU in order to protect its currency and bonds, while it will have to roll about EUR 5 billion of external debt this year, in addition to bonds issued in forints that will reach their maturity. But the EU has already initiated procedures for excessive deficit against Hungary. The authorities from Budapest have two months to convince Brussels that they will keep the country’s budgetary deficit under 3 percent of GDP in 2012. The IMF expects Hungary to post economic growth of 0.3 percent on a base scenario but the institution warns that if the current crisis in the Euro zone escalates, leading to a contraction of 3.4 percent of the Hungarian economy because of the significant decrease in exports, a deficit of external financing will appear over 2012-2013. Last but not least, due to the deepening debt crisis and the erosion of confidence in Hungary’s economic policy, the forint has recently fallen to record lows.
HUNGARY Strengths: l
Much better infrastructure Better economic integration l Proximity to Western Europe l High potential for growth l
…but lower VAT and better economic perspectives The Hungarian authorities recently decided to increase VAT by two percentage points to 27 percent, which means that Hungary has the highest level of VAT in the whole European Union. According to the latest data available on the market, from September 2011, it is followed by Denmark and Sweden (25 percent), Romania (24 percent) and Poland, Portugal, Finland and Greece (23 percent). Cyprus and Luxembourg have the lowest level of VAT (15 percent). According to Emil Boc, the former prime minister, the Romanian economy posted growth of about 2.5 percent in 2011 after two years of economic decline, one of the highest growth rates in European Union. And the good news doesn’t stop there. Both the European
Lower macroeconomic indicators (at present and predicted) l Higher level of VAT (27 percent) l Currency depreciation l Poor rating – junk l Inﬂexibility in its relations with the IMF and other international ﬁnancial institutions l Heavy dependency on commercial relations with the EU l Temporary political difﬁculties
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
Photo: Mihai Constantineanu
Businesses hope to avoid election year disruption With the government led by Emil Boc having stepped down at the beginning of last week and the pressure of forthcoming elections mounting, Romania needs to pay a lot of attention to the election years 2012 and 2013. Specialists told Business Review the main challenges that the country could face this year and what effects the election years could have on the local economy. ∫ ANDA SEBESI
A turbulent context After weeks of political turmoil and social unrest, Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc announced at the beginning of last week that he was stepping down.“I have resigned because I don’t cling to power – for me it does not much matter if I keep the position for a few more months until the elections in November. I took the decision to give up the government's mandate in order to defuse the political and social tension in Romania and for Romanians not to lose what they have gained: the country’s economic stability,” Boc said in a speech after a government meeting. The outgoing PM added that his government had had to take tough and un-
popular austerity measures, not because he wanted to do so but because there was no other choice. “Romanians were the only ones that truly saved the country. Politicians only did their duty, Romanians saved the country from chaos,” said Boc. He said that it was now politicians’ responsibility to appoint a new government as quickly as possible. As PM, Boc survived ten motions of censure, including one adopted by Parliament before the presidential elections in November 2009. He managed to keep his post despite many attacks against him during 2010 and 2011, including some from big names within his own party. He also hung on to the position when Romanian President Traian Basescu spoke last year of replacing him with an independent PM.
The exit of the Boc government created the right premises for the opposition to call for the elections to be brought forward. Victor Ponta, the leader of the Social Liberal Union (USL), said that Boc’s resignation was the first step towards early elections. He added that the opposition was willing to discuss potential solutions and said that although the USL was in favor of early parliamentary elections it would support “stability and balance” until then. “I think that we can make a democratic transition. We are open to discussing any responsible formula, to have elections that will not mean the complete destruction of what is left of Romania,” said Ponta. Last but not least, Mugur Isarescu, the governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), said recently that any change
of government through constitutional procedures was not comfortable for markets. “Any major political change is a stress factor for markets but it can be assimilated and accommodated by them and managed by the BNR if it is quick and developed in a constitutional frame. We don’t see any visible elements of stress on the markets and things are under control so far. We hope it remains the same,” said the governor, quoted by Mediafax. Asked if the Central Bank would react if the political situation were to deteriorate, Isarescu said, “Of course, we will not stay as an observer to watch things getting worse. We have never adopted the position of staying and seeing what is happening on the market. We also intervened in less critical moments,” he said. Regardless of what kind of elections Romania will have this year – early or not – 2012 is a crucial year for the country because of its significant implications on the local economy. “In general, election years have so far been years with economic growth compared to the previous period. There is higher demand at an integral level because of the direct and indirect election expenses. Plus, governing parties and local administrations make more ‘image’ investments in election years, like improving parks and roads, planting or sewerage and gas grids. Most of these investments create arrears as a result. Hence, the effects are mixed,” says Dragos Cabat partner at efin.ro. Andrei Brasoveanu, managing partner at Ciurtin, Brasoveanu & Partners, believes that the local economy is more influenced by the financial crisis than the upcoming elections. The unfavorable economic context and the fall in both companies’ business and incomes are the current concerns of the business environment. The austerity measures taken by the former government and its economic policies that were criticized for lack of efficiency or opportunity could persuade players on the market things are going to change if the opposition wins the elections. They could therefore hope that if a new government is elected, the new executive will adopt favorable measures for the business environment and set out to support it rather than tax it. “From this perspective, we think that the impact of the elections on the local economy will be a positive one, but it must be preserved and capitalized on afterwards through the economic measures that the new government adopts. If not, there will be no notable effect,” warns Brasoveanu.
What are the main effects of an election year? Elections make it tempting for a government to enact short-term measures to stimulate the economy and improve living standards before the poll. At the same time, governments throughout the world often avoid implementing policies which may be necessary but are likely to prove unpopular. “However, I hope the Romanian government will avoid these temptations. There are plenty of ways in which the government can stimulate sustainable, long-term growth,” says Mark Gibbins, partner at KPMG, head of taxation services. He adds that the government could work for an improvement in the take-up rate of EU funds, particularly for badly needed infrastructure projects. It could also promote stability in fiscal legislation and avoid mak-
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
ing changes at short notice which are disruptive to business. “It is to be hoped that all parties, whether government or opposition, will present realistic programs based on the current, admittedly difficult economic realities as they prepare for this important election,” adds Gibbins. “The whole economy will benefit if the government focuses on long-term growth, and would suffer if short-term populist policies were to be adopted.”
Facing new challenges Following the departure of the Emil Boc cabinet, one of the main challenges for its successor is to maintain and improve, if possible, the current macroeconomic indicators. One of the most important things for the incoming government is to respect the terms of the agreements with the IMF and EU and keep the budget deficit under control, while at the same time taking measures to stimulate growth. “One of the challenges the Romanian economy could face is contagion from the Euro zone debt crisis, and a general Euro zone downturn, which could make Romania’s recovery more difficult. However, there are many opportunities for growth through business with countries outside the Euro zone,” says the KPMG representative. He gives the example of Chinese investment in Romania, which has increased a lot, while many local companies are discovering the possibilities of China as an export market. The level of exports is one of the crucial elements for the coming period be-
The whole economy will beneﬁt if the government focuses on long-term growth, and would suffer if short-term populist policies were to be adopted Mark Gibbins cause it relates closely to the economic growth that Romania will post this year. “If exports decrease because the situation in the EU region deteriorates – a scenario that seems to me less probable now – then economic growth can come only from internal consumption in 2012. Therefore the austerity program should be ‘relaxed’. If things are normal, we can post economic growth even if the austerity program is maintained in its strict form. This approach would help avoid macroeconomic side slips,” says Cabat. According to Brasoveanu, one of the main challenges the local economy will face this year is to ensure efficient governance during the election campaign, when the political parties will focus their efforts on winning votes. “The election campaign does not have to affect the activity of the government or Parliament. From an economic perspective, the business environment will have greater expectations because it will rightfully expect an improved situation if there is a change in governance,” says Brasoveanu.
How do the elections inﬂuence business? One interesting question is whether companies will postpone any decisions about their market strategy until after the elections. The answer depends on the
FOCUS 11 company and the country. Where companies are confident that there will be a high degree of continuity from one administration to the next, and that any changes to tax or other legislation affecting business will follow a realistic timeframe which allows companies to plan ahead, the impact of elections will be limited. “I believe that most Romanian companies are hoping that the government will continue to focus on long-term growth and avoid short-term populist measures. They are also hoping for a high-quality debate between all parties, which will focus on effective solutions to meet the country’s long-term needs,” says Gibbins. One of the lifelines for some companies during an economic crisis is to focus on projects for the public sector, like infrastructure ventures. The reason is that in general, incomes generated by the public sector are considered to be safer that those created by private companies, despite their longer payment terms. Also the risk of a public partner becoming insolvent is lower than for a private one. “Hence it is possible that some companies will accelerate their public sector projects in order to obtain their envisioned results by the elections, while others will postpone their public sector projects or preserve them with no particular cause until after the elections, hoping to have new opportunities that they can capitalize upon after a potential change in governance,” says Brasoveanu. Private companies that don’t depend on their relations with the state are clearly not influenced directly by the election year, but benefit from the general economic growth it brings. “The strategy of the companies varied more in the election years before Romania joined the EU, when there was a high political risk. Since 2007 the political risks have become almost nonexistent,” says Cabat. He adds that during election years economic growth is usually higher while arrears and/or the budgetary deficit often explodes six months before. In addition, the inflation rate increases both in the month of the election and the subsequent ones. Last week, the National Bank of Romania revised its inflation forecast for 2012 from 3 percent to 3.2 percent and estimates a 3 percent increase in prices from December-December 2013. “Infrastructure projects have always been an efficient way of gaining voters’ goodwill. This year we can expect promises from politicians about improving infrastructure projects. Some interesting ideas about building motorways and other significant projects of public interest such as stadiums have already been discussed,” says Stefan Ponea CEO and managing partner at Industrial Access. Asked to what extent the forthcoming elections could lead to favorable changes in the fiscal legislation to stimulate companies’ activity, Gibbins says that any incoming government will be subject to significant limits on its activities in the current economic climate. “Therefore while I welcome fiscal stimulants to encourage investment, these should be carefully focused on longterm growth, and respect budgetary constraints,” he says.
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
12 CITY FILM REVIEW
Habemus Papam DEBBIE STOWE Director: Nanni Moretti Starring: Michel Piccoli On: Cinema City Cotroceni, Cinema City Sun Plaza, Grand Cinema Digiplex Baneasa, Hollywood Multiple Anyone who has ever suffered stage fright or frozen at a crucial time will sympathize with Cardinal Melville, the protagonist of this Italian comedy-drama from director Nanni Moretti about a panicking pope. It’s a glorious premise. The previous pontiff has passed away, and the film opens with the papal selection procedure at the Vatican. After some mockery of the press pack assembled outside, the focus switches to the cadre of cardinals, whose internal prayers are vocalized into a cacophony of “please not me, Lord”. From nowhere, surprise contender Melville (a terrific performance from the 85-year-old French actor Michel Piccoli) beats off the favorites to be pronounced pope. But as the faithful pack St Peter’s Square awaiting his apostolic blessing from the balcony, Melville freezes and cannot go through with it. Prevented by papal protocol from choosing someone else, the Catholic Church top brass must
resort to a series of measures to coax their shy leader into shouldering his duties. One such attempt is through a psychotherapist (played by Moretti himself), and the movie derives humor from the clash between the buttoned-up solemnity of the Church and the probing Freudianism of the doctor. But just when it appears that Habemus Papam might be another psychotherapist-with-unlikelypatient tale of the Analyze This! school, Melville does a runner and the film divides itself between the therapist’s Sister Act style efforts to liven up the Vatican (where he is stuck to stop him blabbing about the AWOL pontiff) and the troubled father’s wanderings in Rome as he struggles with the weight of expectations thrust upon him. It is owing to Moretti’s deft handling of his subject matter that both strands are successful. There’s lovely comedy in the bored doctor’s organizing of a Vatican volleyball contest and a Church lackey’s impersonation of Melville in his room (so the conclave doesn’t realize his absence). Meanwhile, Melville’s journey through the city is an emotive study of the limits of human resilience, responsibility, aspiration and aging. One criticism that could be leveled is that in the post-abuse scandal era when the hypocrisy of religion is regularly re-
Forlorn pope: Michel Piccoli is a pontiff with anxiety in this warm comedy-drama
hearsed, the Catholic Church gets off rather lightly, its leaders presented as a benign bunch of elders. But that would be to miss the point: the film does not set out to excoriate the Vatican, but is a more human endeavor, considering issues and fears that affect all of us, whatever our
standing in society or our faith. Moretti’s production is a beautiful piece of filmmaking, a captivating blend of mirth and pathos, achieving what few modern movies manage: rendering more clear and poignant the human condition. ∫
Author Amos Oz to meet Romanian readers this month
Israeli author Amos Oz will attend a conference in Bucharest
Writer Amos Oz will be in Bucharest at the end of February to meet the Romanian public at a conference dedicated to his work. Oz will be in Bucharest from February 27-28 on a visit organized by Humanitas publishing house. The conference, which will take place on February 27, is occasioned by the launch of the author’s book series. Tickets can be bought from the Bucharest Athenaeum from February 21. While in Bucharest, Oz will also be receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Bucharest.
Israeli author Amos Oz has had his work published in 41 languages, including Arabic. Some of his best known books include A Perfect Peace (1982), Black Box (1987), How to Cure a Fanatic (2006), Rhyming Life and Death (2007), A Tale of Love and Darkness (2003) and Scenes from Village Life (2009). He is also a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. ∫ The Amos Oz conference takes place at the Romanian Athenaeum, on February 27, starting at 18.30.
www.business-review.ro Business Review | February 13 - 19, 2012
14 IN TOUCH
CULTURAL EVENTS AGENDA DANCE Rhythm of the Dance February 19 19.30, Palace Hall (Sala Palatului) The National Dance Company of Ireland, one of the most popular dance companies in the world, returns for its third performance in Romania with a totally new show: two hours of authentic Irish folk dance accompanied by impressive light and sound. Tickets are available through the Eventim network in partnership with Vreaubilet.ro and the kiosk at Unirea Shopping Center, second floor, Calarasi wing. Exhibition Comic strip by Livia Rusz February 9 – March 13 Mon-Thu 10.00 to 17.00, Fri 10.00 to 14.00 – Hungarian Cultural Center in Bucharest After its great success at the European Comic Strips Show in Bucharest in November 2011, the comic strip exhibition by the artist Livia Rusz, organized with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute and Hungarian Cultural Center, once again gives Bucharest audiences the opportunity to revisit their childhoods. The exhibition will run until March 13. Curator: Alexandru Ciubotariu.
Cinema Valentina and Dragobete Film Marathon February 17 to 18 From 23.50, The Light Cinema A White Night of Movies starts at 23.50 on February 17 to continue the celebration of both Valentine’s Day and Dragobete (the Romanian equivalent). The selected movies are: One for the Money (starring Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara), The Descendants (George Clooney, Alexander Payne), Jack and Jill (Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes) and We Bought a Zoo! (Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson). The RON 25 entrance ticket gives access to all the movies and the party at The Light Bar. The full program with movies, times and halls will be available on www.lightcinemas.ro from February 16. No advance reservations. Cinema Premieres: Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace (3D)
BALLET Giselle February 16 19.00, Bucharest Opera House
Science fiction/USA 2012, 133 min Directed by: George Lucas Cast: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Keira Knightley, Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Coppola, Dominic West Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Mystery, Thriller/UK, 2011, 127 min Directed by: Thomas Alfredson Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Kathy Burke
Festival One World Romania Documentary Film Festival March 13-18 The fifth run of the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will open officially its doors on March 13 at Cinema Scala. Over six days, films will be screened in four cinemas in the center of the city – Eforie, Union, Corso and the New Cinema of the Romanian Director. The 50 movies are divided into 8 sections: Revolutions Online, Politics, Department of Labor and Reward, Elders and Youths, Family Issues, Passports, Criminal, Activists and Outraged. The festival is organized by the One World Association and the Czech Center in Bucharest. Concerts Nigel Kennedy April 2 19.00, Palace Hall
One of the best-selling violinists in the world, the British artist Nigel Kennedy accompanied by his band, the Nigel Kennedy Quintet, will take their audience on a bold adventure through various musical styles from classic to jazz, fusion and rock. Tickets, costing from RON 80 to RON 250, are available at www.vreaubilet.ro, from the box office at the Palace Hall and the kiosk at Unirea Shopping Center, second floor, as well as through the Vreau Bilet Agency.
A flagship production from the classical ballet repertoire of the Bucharest Opera House, Giselle (by Adolphe Adam) will see the debut of Maria Minoiu in the role of Mirtha. The young ballerina has also performed in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty (both Tchaikovsky). The performance will take place under the musical direction of conductor Ciprian Teodorascu. The cast features Opera House soloists: Adina Tudor, Gigel Ungureanu, Virgil Ciocoiu, Rodica Fiastru, Antonel Oprescu, Mihaela Soare, Mihai Mezei, Catalin Caracas, Irinel Manolovici, Gabriela Popovici and Andra Ionete.
At: Hollywood Multiplex, Moviplex Cinema, Cinema City Cotroceni, Grand Cinema Digiplex Baneasa, Patria, Glendale Studio, Cinema City Sun Plaza, Samsung Imax Cotroceni, The Light Cinema
Pink Martini Orchestra May 26 20.00, Palace Hall On their promotional tour for their latest album, A Retrospective, the Pink Martini Orchestra will stop in Bucharest, the scene of several previous concerts by the outfit. The concert will serve as a retrospective of the act’s 16-year career, including hits like Una Notte a Napoli, Hang On Little Tomato, Donde estas Yolanda and Que Sera Sera. From February 8 to 19 tickets can be bought at promotional prices ranging from RON 88 to160, either online at www.eventim.ro or through the Eventim network.
ISSN No. 1453 - 729X
FOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor SENIOR JOURNALIST Otilia Haraga JOURNALISTS Simona Bazavan, Ovidiu Posirca COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe COLLABORATORS Anda Sebesi ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean PHOTO EDITOR: Mihai Constantineanu PHOTOGRAPHER Laurentiu Obae LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu
PUBLISHER Anca Ionita EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR George Moise SALES & EVENTS DIRECTOR Oana Molodoi MARKETING MANAGER Ana-Maria Stanca SALES & EVENTS Ana-Maria Nedelcu RESEARCH & SUBSCRIPTION Lili Voineag PRODUCTION Dan Mitroi DISTRIBUTION Eugen Musat
Haywire Action, Thriller/USA, 2011, 93 min Directed by: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Gina Carano
Business Review welcomes information for Who’s News from readers. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Get in touch at email@example.com
Ali Ergun Ergen returns to Turkish developer Anchor Grup as CEO. Most recently CEO of Baneasa Developments, he has extensive experience in the local shopping center industry. Before setting up and managing the Baneasa Shopping City project, he worked for Anchor Grup between 1999 and 2005. Ergun Ergen was part of the team that developed Bucuresti Mall, which opened back in 1999 – and went onto manage it. He later set up and managed Plaza Romania.
George Argentopoulos has been appointed CEO of Baneasa Developments. Over the last three years he has served as a non-executive director with the company. From 2001 to 2007 Argentopoulos held various executive positions with Romtelecom SA. Prior to moving to Romania, he held financial management positions in various industries including the financial manager role of the construction joint venture Attiki Odos and financial controller of Accas Ten Cate Group.
Mihai Barsan will be the new marketing VP of Ursus Breweries, part of SABMiller, from April 2012. He is replacing Grant McKenzie who was appointed marketing director of SABMiller’s subsidiary in the Czech Republic. Barsan joined the company in March 2005 and in 2009 became marketing manager of SABMiller Europe. In 2009 he was appointed marketing director of the company’s subsidiary in Slovakia.
Krzysztof Andrzejewski has been appointed sales and distribution VP at Ursus Breweries, a position he has held since September last year on an interim basis. He will also serve as interim finance VP until a replacement is appointed. Andrzejewski joined Ursus Breweries in March 2010. He previously worked for Kompania Piwowarska in Poland as financial and operations director.
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Published on Feb 12, 2012
Romania is facing two rounds of elections this year, leaving companies asking what the short- and long-term impact of the ballots on their b...