February 13th, 2007
Insurer goes into real estate
Capitalising on its recent investment of 7.5 million Euro in its new headquarters, Austrian insurer Grawe plans to invest up to five million Euro in real estate deals in Romania in the next two years.
Banks share housing product offer
Volksbank Romania will now distribute the products of fellow Austrian housing bank Raiffeisen Banca pentru Locuinte (RBL) in its network. RBL president Ionut Costea said at first this is a pilot project for Bucharest. After three months of testing the market, the partnership will be extended to a national scale.
Materials firm opts for Danube bank
Metal-based construction materials manufacturer Ruukki is pouring 35 million Euro into building a plant in Giurgiu, south of Bucharest, on the banks of the Danube. The plant is designed to cover 27,000 square metres. Production in profiling and steel frame lines will be ready in September 2007 and panel production in Spring 2008. The new plant will employ about 400 and will produce steel frames, sandwich panels, roofing and cladding profiles and liner trays for Romania and Bulgaria.
Parquet firm buys up Maramures facility
Flooring manufacturers Karelia Corporation has acquired the Romanian parquet flooring factory and sawmill Larodan, based in Satulung, Maramures county. The mill is near oak, ash and beech forests, which are used for parquet production. Romanian subsidiary Karelia-Upofloor is set to launch production at the factory during 2007. Total investments, including the parquet factory acquisitions are estimated to reach 12 to15 million Euro over 2007 and 2008, employing up to 200 people.
Renault-Dacia boosts seven-seater estate production
Car manufacturer Renault-Dacia is investing 100 million Euro to increase production capacity in its Mioveni plant, Arges county, to 350,000 vehicles per year in 2008. The production of the seven-seater Dacia Logan MCV (Multi-Convivial Vehicle) model will grow from 250 to 300 vehicles per day from this month. The car firm will also give unlimited term contracts to 260 employees on fixed-term contracts.
BNP Paribas adds insurance to credit
Finance giant BNP Paribas’ life insurance arm Cardif has received the Insurance Supervision Commission’s (CSA) authorisation to start operations locally. Dubbed Cardif Asigurari, the new insurance firm will be lead by Carmen Bahrim, former business development director at Aviva Romania. In 2005 BNP Paribas’s consumer credit arm Cetelem bought out Romanian consumer company Credisson.
Hypermarket gets real in Craiova
Real Hypermarket has earmarked another 20 million Euro investment in Romania by opening its latest shop in Craiova, Dolj county. It is the fifth hypermarket the German retailer has opened in Romania in 2006, and officials said that by the end of 2008, 21 more stores will be opened in Romania, following a total investment of 400 million Euro.
Energy bill provider finds local partner
Energy billing and invoicing service provider Techem has taken over Servito, a Romanian service provider of district heating billings, in a deal worth five million Euro. Advised on the takeover by law firm bpv Grigorescu, the German group has become the leader in this market locally with a 27 per cent share.
New home craze sees DIY store boom
With a ten million Euro investment, German DIY retailer Praktiker opened its 15th store in Romania and third in Bucharest, in Vitanis Shopping Centre, an ongoing 22 million Euro development. The German retailer also opened its fifth store in 2006 in north-western city of Baia Mare.
Commerzbank enters real estate finance market
Real estate financier Eurohypo, part of Germany’s Commerzbank, has opened its first Romanian subsidiary. Lead by Dinu Fulga, who was formerly with the real estate financing division of HVB Romania, Eurohypo is reportedly Europe’s leading specialist bank for real estate and public finance and will compete in Romania with Raiffeisen Banca pentru Locuinte, HVB Banca pentru Locuinte and BRD – Groupe Societe Generale.
Software developer heads for capital
British-based software company Stratinis, a provider of price management solutions, has opened a new development centre in Bucharest, adding to its existing centre in London. Stratinis’ CEO and founder Finn Helmo Hansen said deciding factors in the Romanian capital included political stability and the highly IT-literate labour force.
Landline firm enters digital TV market
Following a 15 million Euro investment, telecom operator Romtelecom last year launched its own digital TV platform, dubbed Dolce. The new service is in addition to Romtelecom’s offer of voice and data transmissions, with general manager James Hubley saying the company wants to consolidate its position on the triple-play (voice, data and TV) market.
Pharma group picks up local distributor
Pharmaceutical group Gedeon Richter has paid 14.5 million Euro to take over Romanian pharma distributor Dita, according to a Budapest Stock Exchange announcement. The Romanian distributor has over three per cent market share.
Insurer wins approval for local entry
Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings has been approved to sell insurance policies on the Romanian market through its Bucharest subsidiary Clal Romania Asigurari-Reasigurari. Clal’s Romanian subsidiary is employing 140 people across 41 branches throughout the country. The company has invested six million Euro in the enterprise.
Tyre giant builds up fibre plant in Gorj
Tyre maker Pirelli has begun construction of a new plant to produce fibres for diesel engines particles in the Gorj Industrial Park. The plant is due to become operational in the second half of 2008 on a ten hectare plot. The Italian firm did not reveal the value of the investment, but Gorj County Council president, Ion Calinoiu, previously said the Italian group will invest 70 million Euro in the county’s industrial park.
Auto-parts maker due for Ploiesti
Calsonic Kansei, the Japanese auto-parts affiliate of Nissan, plans to spend 120 million Euro to build a plant in Romania, said outgoing deputy Prime Minister Bogdan Pascu. The Japanese manufacturer aims to complete construction of the plant in five years in the southern city of Ploiesti, 60 km north of Bucharest.
US firm joins car parts bonanza
Automotive Safety Components International, part of the International Textile Group, has taken over air bag producer Parat Ro Sighisoara, following a 5.5 million Euro deal, according to US-based Business Journal.
Source: The Diplomat
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