ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST July 8-14. Most important Economy & Business news by IPN

● MONDAY, July 8

Chisinau municipality annuls e-ticketing tender

A call for bids announced by the Chisinau government to select a contractor for implementing an e-ticketing system in the municipal transit system has been annulled. This was announced on the public procurement website, with the cited reason being that it is related to the “dismissals of the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the working group” in charge with conducting the tender. The call for bids was supposed to be closed on Tuesday. During a press conference earlier today, ex-Chisinau mayor Dorin Chirtoacă asked for the cancellation of the procurement auction, claiming that it was tainted by bid rigging. According to him, there are big differences between the ToR approved in 2017 by the City Council and the one published recently by the tender commission.

19,000 chickens perish in Comrat as a result of high winds and heavy rain

About 19,000 chickens died at a firm in the municipality of Comrat following the strong winds and heavy rainfall of July 3, IPN reports, with reference to Gagauzinfo. The high winds took away the roof and the water flooded the rooms of the farm. The company’s administration is to present the damage assessments to the emergencies commission. The incurred losses amount to about 100,000 lei if only the cost price of the chickens is taken into account. The company’s failed incomes exceed yet 600,000 lei.

● TUESDAY, July 9

1 million lei reward offered for information on MAIB heist

Moldova Agroindbank (MAIB) has announced it is offering a total 1 million lei in rewards for information that leads to the arrest of those involved in emptying a safe deposit room at Chisinau branch last Saturday. The bank’s board also decided to offer up to 500,000 lei in compensation to each client affected by the robbery. Anyone with information that could contribute to the investigation and recovery of the stolen cash and items is encouraged to reach MAIB by email at, or by calling +373 69268348 or +373 68093777.

● WEDNESDAY, July 10

Moldova could receive $46.5 million from IMF

A staff-level agreement has been reached with the Moldovan authorities following the fourth and fifth review of the economic program supported by the International Monetary Fund. IMF experts also approved the authorities’ request to extend the program duration until March 2020 to allow for its successful completion. After today's agreement is approved by the IMF leadership and Board of Executive Directors, Moldova will be able to benefit from an installment of about $46.5 million. This was announced upon the conclusion of an IMF mission which visited Chisinau during June 26-July 10.

The Economic Commission endorses the one-year postponement of the electronic invoice

Parliament's Committee on Economy, Budget and Finance endorsed the postponement by 1 July 2020 of the deadline for economic agents to issue tax invoices in electronic form when making taxable supplies in public procurement. Deputy Igor Munteanu, chairman of the commission, said at a meeting on July 10 that economic agents are not prepared to submit tax invoices in electronic format and the entry into force of the law on 1 July 2019, as it was set, could cause great damage national budget.

Maia Sandu: Government is committed to struggle against all those who didn’t pay taxes

The previous Government increased the taxes for people with low incomes and decreased them for those with large incomes. The current Government is determined to do inversely – to gradually raise the taxes and to make sure that those with large incomes pay these taxes, but will diminish the burden on the people with low incomes, stated Prime Minister Maia Sandu. In a news conference held alongside the chief of the IMF mission visiting Chisinau, Maia Sandu said the current Government, including through the memorandum with the IMF, is committed to struggle against all those who should have paid taxes, but didn’t do it.

More than 38 thousand hectares of agricultural land were affected by calamities

More than 38,000 hectares of agricultural land have been affected by natural disasters since the beginning of the year. The biggest damage was recorded in the Ungheni district, where losses of almost 182 million lei were reported. The data was presented by Iurie Uşurelu, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development, in the Committee on Agriculture and Food Industry of the Parliament. Since the beginning of the year, there has been wind, and heavy rains, and hail, said Iurie Uşurelu.

● THURSDAY, July 11

Electric power suppliers make new electricity rates adjustment request to NAER

The companies Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie Electrică and Furnizare Energie Electrică Nord made a new request to the National Agency for Energy Regulation (NAER), asking to adjust the electricity rates. The requested rises are higher than those sought this March for most of the categories of consumer. According to the claims that were proposed for public consultations, Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie Electrică asks to apply a rate 143.71 bani/kWh for the consumers connected to high voltage powerlines as of August 1 this year, as opposed to the rate of 134.25 bani/kWh requested in March. For domestic end-users connected to low voltage powerlines, Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie Electrică asks for a rate of 194,40 bani/kWh, as against the rate of 180.25 bani/kWh requested in March. This way, if the NAER approves the rises, these users will pay by 15.40 bani/kWh more than at present.

Central bank approves purchase of Mobiasbancs's control stock

The board of the National Bank of Moldova today approved the purchase by Hungary OTP Bank Nyrt. of the controlling interest (more than 50 % of shares) in the commercial bank Mobiasbancă, currently part of the Groupe Société Générale. OTP Bank Nyrt. is a universal bank based in Budapest, listed on national and international stock exchanges. It’s a parent bank of a financial group, called the OTP Group, which comprises other banks and financial institutions and has a vast network in Europe. Among OTP Bank Nyrt.’s goals  for Moldova is to update the products and services for depositors and investors and to ensure a transparent and efficient corporate governance.

● FRIDAY, July 12

Igor Dodon: Next mayor of Chisinau will represent PSRM or ACUM

The next mayor of Chisinau municipality will be the candidate of the Party of Socialists (PSRM) or the candidate of the Bloc ACUM, President Igor Dodon was quoted by IPN as saying in the program “Moldova live” on the public TV channel Moldova 1. According to him, for the first time the election campaign in the municipality of Chisinau will be free from geopolitics and this is important. “It is important to see not a fight with Russian tanks or with the unionists, but a struggle for solutions to the problems faced by the people,” stated President Dodon, noting such an electoral struggle could be witnessed for the first time and the forces of the right and of the left should, for the purpose, sign an agreement to set down the main principles of the electoral competition. In another development, the official said no problems related to the payment of salaries and pensions will be experienced in the social sphere. Moreover, there will be salary raises proposals.

Premier Sandu in Kiev: We aim to improve bilateral relations with Ukraine

Prime Minister Maia Sandu, in the meeting held in Kiev with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, conferred on the regional security and European integration as a common goal of the two countries. The two officials also discussed the bilateral agenda of Moldova and Ukraine and the efforts aimed at building functional institutions for the people. “I firmly support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and would like to express my profound respect for the Ukrainians who sacrificed their lives while defending the country, its sovereignty and European future,” Maia Sandu stated in the news conference held after the meeting.

Salaries and pensions to be paid in full and on time, finance minister

After the planned Budget adjustments, salaries and pensions will be further paid in full and on time, promised Finance Minister Natalia Gavrilița during a press conference where she spoke about how the Government plans to cope with the extra Budget expenses. When Natalia Gavrilița took over the job, the 2019 Budget was already 4 billion lei into the red. “In addition to tax revenue, the 2019 Budget also counted on 1.2 billion lei in funding that was supposed to be granted by the EU but which got frozen eventually. Moreover, the Salary Law was adopted by the previous government already after the Budget planning process was completed, and this has generated an additional deficit of 1 billion lei.” The Budget correction planned by the Ministry of Finance will take into account the money promised by the European Union, and also reduce spending. Cutting capital investments, for example, is expected to save some 0.6 billion lei, said Gavrilița.

Moldovan leu follows a contradictory development path, economic expert

The evolution  of the Moldovan leu is contradictory and fluctuates from abrupt depreciations to significant appreciations. In the first half of 2019, the national currency depreciated both against the U.S. dollar and against the European common currency by almost 6%, economist Ion Tornea was quoted by IPN as saying in the program “15 Minutes of Economic Realism”. The expert said this was one of the most significant depreciations after that witnessed in 2014-2015, determinate by the bank fraud, and after that of 2009, determined by the regional financial-economic crisis. The main causes of the depreciation of the national currency against the US dollar and the euro are related to the development of the domestic currency supply and demand that was amplified by the political crisis experienced after the parliamentary elections.

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