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United Kingdom

Luiza Ilie

Romanian cobbler keeps people apart with size 75 shoes

01 Jun 2020

CLUJ, Romania/BUCHAREST Soon after a two-month lockdown to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus eased in Romania in mid-May, Grigore Lup, a Romanian shoemaker from the Transylvanian city of Cluj, noticed people were not respecting the rules of social distancing. | Video

Romanian cobbler keeps people apart with size 75 shoes

29 May 2020

CLUJ, Romania/BUCHAREST, May 29 Soon after a two-month lockdown to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus eased in Romania in mid-May, Grigore Lup, a Romanian shoemaker from the Transylvanian city of Cluj, noticed people were not respecting the rules of social distancing.

EU fraud prosecutor was wrongly dismissed from Romanian anti-graft job - court

05 May 2020

BUCHAREST The European Union's fraud prosecutor was wrongly removed from her previous job as head of Romania's anti-corruption agency, the European Court of Human Rights said on Tuesday in a landmark ruling against political interference in the judiciary.

Romanian Church condemns posters depicting doctors and nurses as saints

29 Apr 2020

BUCHAREST Romania's Orthodox Church said on Wednesday a series of outdoor posters depicting nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the new coronavirus outbreak as saints were blasphemous and an insult to Christian iconography.

'It's a financial choice' - Romanian farm workers head west despite coronavirus

17 Apr 2020

BUCHAREST Carmen Mocanu, a 51-year-old labourer, has spent most springs for 15 years picking fruit and vegetables on a German farm.

Mother of invention: the new gadgets dreamt up to fight coronavirus

01 Apr 2020

LONDON/OAKLAND/BUCHAREST Driving to work at his factory to the west of London last week, designer Steve Brooks had coronavirus on his mind. What could he make that would let him open a door without touching the handle?

Facing coronavirus spread, Romania's president makes new push to form government

12 Mar 2020

BUCHAREST Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called talks with political parties for Friday to try to get parliament to endorse a new prime minister next week so he can focus entirely on tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

Bucharest residents demand a breath of clean air

28 Feb 2020

BUCHAREST An unusually mild winter has exacerbated Bucharest's chronic pollution problem, prompting residents in the Romanian capital to take matters into their own hands.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies hold up amid coronavirus fears; Romanian politics in focus

27 Feb 2020

By Anita Komuves and Luiza Ilie BUDAPEST/BUCHAREST, Feb 27 Central European currencies were mostly stable and stock markets extended their losses as Romania confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection and global markets were pressured by the growing number of new cases outside China. Prague's stock market led losses by falling 1.1% by 0922GMT. Warsaw's main index was down 0.8% and Budapest lost 0.2%, less than major western markets. Romania's blue-chip index fell 0.9% in early trade on Thursday after the government confirmed its first case of coronavirus late on Wednesday. Romanian markets were also reacting to domestic political developments. Lawmakers toppled Prime Minister Ludovic Orban's three-month-old minority government this month, which might lead to early elections. The leu was steady, trading at 4.8095 to the euro on Thursday, after reaching record lows earlier this week. Longer-term government bonds fell on Tuesday. President Klaus Iohannis appointed interim Finance Minister Florin Citu as prime minister-designate on Wednesday to try to form a transitional government until a parliamentary election in November, seeking to end political gridlock. Should his proposed government fail to win parliament's confidence vote, it would put Romania one step closer to early elections, which markets see as a way to end years of political instability. Opposition from the Social Democrat Party (PSD), the largest party in the parliament, might prevent an early vote. "The designation of Florin Citu as PM keeps the scenario of early elections on the cards," Raiffeisen said in a daily note. "Still, as demonstrated in the last weeks, the PSD has the means to prolong or even to delay the parliamentary procedure." Romanian debt managers tender 150 million euros ($163.02 million) worth of August 2020 treasury bills later on Thursday. They rejected all bids at a euro-denominated debt tender earlier this week. Elsewhere in the region, the Hungarian forint was trading at 338.97 to the euro, gaining 0.19% on the day after nearing its all-time low of 340 to the euro in the morning. Coronavirus fears and the result of the central bank's Tuesday rate-setting meeting were pushing the forint lower, a Budapest-based dealer said. "The market had been looking forward to Tuesday's central bank rate setting meeting. Some were expecting a change, which resulted in the forint firming a little ahead of the meeting," a dealer in Budapest said. "When it became clear that the NBH was not changing its stance, some speculators re-built their short positions, which resulted in the forint giving up its gains," he said. The central bank left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday, as expected, and pledged to use all its tools to reach its inflation target. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1022 CET CURRENCIE S Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2020 Czech 25.3000 25.3250 +0.10% +0.52% crown Hungary 338.9700 339.6000 +0.19% -2.31% forint Polish 4.3100 4.3143 +0.10% -1.24% zloty Romanian 4.8095 4.8070 -0.05% -0.44% leu Croatian 7.4600 7.4603 +0.00% -0.20% kuna Serbian 117.5200 117.5200 +0.00% +0.04% dinar Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2020 Prague 1021.45 1032.250 -1.05% -8.44% 0 Budapest 43424.03 43521.91 -0.22% -5.77% Warsaw 1918.06 1933.51 -0.80% -10.79% Bucharest 9615.21 9704.82 -0.92% -3.63% Ljubljana 926.04 927.67 -0.18% +0.02% Zagreb 1922.91 1919.71 +0.17% -4.69% Belgrade <.BELEX15 805.53 808.57 -0.38% +0.48% > Sofia 545.22 546.39 -0.21% -4.03% Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=RR 1.8930 0.1630 +260bps +18bps > 5-year <CZ5YT=RR 1.5190 -0.1010 +222bps -8bps > 10-year <CZ10YT=R 1.4230 0.0240 +194bps +4bps R> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=RR 1.4720 -0.0260 +218bps -1bps > 5-year <PL5YT=RR 1.5790 -0.0540 +228bps -3bps > 10-year <PL10YT=R 1.8240 -0.0530 +234bps -3bps R> FORWARD 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep < 2.36 2.28 2.13 2.39 PRIBOR=> Hungary < 0.78 0.92 1.01 0.60 BUBOR=> Poland < 1.70 1.64 1.56 1.71 WIBOR=> Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes (Reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest and Luiza Ilie in Bucharest; editing by Larry King)

CEE MARKETS-Forint firms ahead of rate meeting, stocks extend coronavirus-led losses

25 Feb 2020

By Luiza Ilie BUCHAREST, Feb 25 The Hungarian forint strengthened against the euro on Tuesday ahead of a central bank rate-setting meeting, while stocks across the region extended losses on heightened worries about economic risks stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the National Bank of Hungary to leave interest rates unchanged at its meeting later in the day. All 14 economists in a Feb. 17-19 survey said the bank would leave its base rate at 0.9%, the region's lowest. The 11 analysts who gave a forecast for the overnight deposit rate said it would also stay at -0.05%. The forint has firmed from repeated record lows since a central bank policymaker said earlier this month the bank will use all its tools if needed to rein in higher-than-expected inflation. The hawkish comments also led to a hike in interbank Bubor rates. ING Bank said in a note it was unlikely the bank would change policy before its inflation report in March. "No doubt the press statement will acknowledge that upside risks to inflation have increased ... but the 50 basis points rise in 3-month Bubor since late January has effectively delivered two implicit 25 basis points hikes," it said. "The NBH will be reluctant to do any more right now given that inflation should peak over coming months and external headwinds to activity are growing." By 1030 GMT, the forint traded 0.2% higher versus the euro at 337.70. Erste Bank said in a note strong interbank liquidity might have helped the forint but added that "if international risk-aversion will further strengthen, that might hurt the forint more sooner or later." Elsewhere in the region, currencies rebounded slightly from Monday losses. The Polish zloty was up 0.1% while the Czech crown and Romanian leu were flat. Romania's top court overturned President Klaus Iohannis's re-nomination of ousted Liberal Party leader Ludovic Orban as prime minister on Monday, potentially derailing plans to trigger an early parliamentary election. Government bonds "suffered in yesterday’s trading a bit after the likelihood for snap elections might have fallen," Raiffeisen Bank said in a note. "We would expect the recent bad news regarding snap elections to further eat into the recent (bond) price gains." On equity markets, Warsaw's main index led losses, falling 2%, followed by Budapest's which fell 1.7%. Prague and Bucharest were down 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively. CEE SNAPSHO AT MARKETS T 1107 CET CURRENC IES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2020 Czech <EURCZK= 25.2300 25.2420 +0.05% +0.80% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 337.640 338.250 +0.18% -1.92% forint > 0 0 Polish <EURPLN= 4.3000 4.3027 +0.06% -1.01% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.8065 4.8081 +0.03% -0.38% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4550 7.4630 +0.11% -0.13% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.510 117.580 +0.06% +0.05% dinar > 0 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2020 Prague 1052.59 1058.69 -0.58% -5.65% 00 Budapest 43675.5 44381.3 -1.59% -5.22% 2 2 Warsaw 1959.04 2000.90 -2.09% -8.89% Bucharest 9827.78 9849.05 -0.22% -1.50% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 940.25 941.81 -0.17% +1.55% > Zagreb 1891.45 1922.40 -1.61% -6.24% Belgrade <.BELEX1 800.33 801.69 -0.17% -0.17% 5> Sofia 543.24 550.44 -1.31% -4.38% Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.7280 0.0650 +242bp +8bps R> s 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.5310 -0.0940 +222bp -7bps R> s 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.4680 0.0260 +198bp +6bps RR> s Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.4950 -0.0140 +218bp +0bps R> s 5-year <PL5YT=R 1.6550 -0.0550 +234bp -3bps R> s 10-year <PL10YT= 1.9030 -0.0770 +241bp -5bps RR> s FORWARD 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech Rep 2.39 2.32 2.16 2.39 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.76 0.90 1.03 0.60 Poland 1.72 1.69 1.66 1.71 Note: FRA are for ask quotes prices ********************************************** **************** (Reporting by Luiza Ilie in Bucharest and Anita Komuves in Budapest ; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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