Edition:
United Kingdom

Luiza Ilie

'Please stay with me,' kidnapped Romanian girl begged police

31 Jul 2019

BUCHAREST The family of a 15-year-old Romanian girl kidnapped earlier this month and now presumed dead has released recordings of her desperate calls for help to authorities whose handling of the case has caused public outrage and dismissals of officials.

Romanian minister quits in furore over teens' murder

30 Jul 2019

BUCHAREST Romania's interior minister resigned on Tuesday after the murders of two teenage girls in a southern town triggered protests over authorities' inadequate handling of the case.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies steady, focus on ECB meeting

25 Jul 2019

By Luiza Ilie BUCHAREST, July 25 Central European currencies held steady against the euro in early trade on Thursday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting expected to bring further signs of monetary easing. Central banks in the region have adopted a wait-and-see stance despite higher economic growth and inflation, as loose global monetary policy had eased pressure on them to act. By 0830 GMT, the Hungarian forint was flat at 325.3 per euro, as were the Czech crown and the Romanian leu, while the Polish zloty was 0.1% firmer. Analysts said lower than expected inflation and a widening of the Hungarian trade surplus were positive for the forint. On Tuesday, the Hungarian central bank maintained its dovish stance at its rate-setting meeting. "The forint firmed yesterday, and if today the ECB makes concrete announcements, this trend can continue and the forint could start moving towards 324.40 versus the euro," brokerage Equilor said in a note. Stock markets were mostly stronger on the day. Bucharest's was 0.4% higher and Prague 0.1% while Warsaw and Budapest's were flat. Orange Polska shares jumped over 5% in early trade after it published better that expected results on Wednesday. nFWN24P0LR] Shares of Hungarian pharma company Richter were trading 0.8% higher, outperforming the wider Budapest market, after the company announced this morning that it had signed a deal to sell one of its flagship products in the Middle East and Africa. CEE SNAPSHO AT MARKETS T 1040 CET CURRENC IES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.5000 25.5160 +0.06% +0.81% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 325.300 325.400 +0.03% -1.30% forint > 0 0 Polish <EURPLN= 4.2513 4.2554 +0.10% +0.90% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7215 4.7199 -0.03% -1.43% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.3830 7.3840 +0.01% +0.37% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.660 117.910 +0.21% +0.54% dinar > 0 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2019 Prague 1076.55 1075.44 +0.10% +9.12% 00 Budapest 41316.1 41303.3 +0.03% +5.56% 2 7 Warsaw 2337.36 2335.41 +0.08% +2.67% Bucharest 8956.31 8923.44 +0.37% +21.30 % Ljubljana <.SBITOP 869.14 870.76 -0.19% +8.07% > Zagreb 1910.16 1914.83 -0.24% +9.23% Belgrade <.BELEX1 743.61 745.81 -0.29% -2.37% 5> Sofia 579.50 580.99 -0.26% -2.52% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.3720 0.0950 +216bp +10bps R> s 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.1560 0.0020 +188bp +0bps R> s 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.3650 0.0250 +175bp +3bps RR> s Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.5200 -0.0110 +231bp -1bps R> s 5-year <PL5YT=R 1.7000 -0.0280 +242bp -3bps R> s 10-year <PL10YT= 2.0040 -0.0200 +239bp -1bps RR> s FORWARD RATE AGREEME NT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech Rep 2.13 2.03 1.92 2.16 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.30 0.33 0.38 0.26 Poland 1.73 1.71 1.68 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask quotes prices ******************************************** (Reporting by Luiza Ilie, Krisztina Than, Anna Włodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by William Maclean)

Romania's ruling party chief jailed for corruption

27 May 2019

BUCHAREST The leader of Romania's ruling Social Democrats Liviu Dragnea began a three-and-a-half year prison sentence on Monday after the Supreme Court upheld a graft conviction one day after his party lost a European election to centrist groupings.

Romanians punish ruling party in anti-graft referendum, EU poll

26 May 2019

BUCHAREST Romanians overwhelmingly rejected measures seen as making it harder to tackle rampant state corruption in a non-binding referendum on Sunday, dealing a double blow to the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) who also lost support in European elections.

Romanians punish ruling party in anti-graft referendum, EU poll

26 May 2019

BUCHAREST Romanians overwhelmingly rejected measures seen as making it harder to tackle rampant state corruption in a non-binding referendum on Sunday, dealing a double blow to the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) who also lost support in European elections.

CEE MARKETS-Forint falls despite robust CEE growth, central banks hold fire

15 May 2019

* GDP growth in CEE is higher than forecast * Wage surge fuels inflation, export outlook uncertain * Forint at lowest in seven months, bond yields fall * Polish, Romanian central banks keep rates on hold * Budapest stocks rebound (Adds Polish and Romanian central bank decisions and comments) By Sandor Peto and Luiza Ilie BUDAPEST, May 15 The forint fell on Wednesday to its weakest level against the euro since October after robust first-quarter economic data from Central Europe failed to ease concerns over inflation in the region and growth in Europe. The Romanian and the Polish central banks kept their interest rates on hold at their respective policy meetings on Wednesday. Meanwhile, figures out on Wednesday from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia showed gross domestic product (GDP) growing faster than expected on an annual basis. However the forint touched a seven-month low of 325.8 against the euro before recovering to 324.87 by late trade, still weaker by 0.1%. Hungary's growth picked up to 5.3%, its fastest rate in 15 years. But the news coincided with a confirmation from German car maker Daimler that it had postponed further expansion of a Hungarian plant. "While these (GDP data) releases (in Central Europe) were bullish, trade tensions loom large as a near-term risk," Morgan Stanley analyst Pasquale Diana said in a note. "Also, recent announcements on auto FDI (Hungary) highlight more structural challenges for the region," Diana added. Domestic demand remains the key to economic growth in Central Europe, while a slowdown in the euro zone, the region's key export market, is causing concern, as does the threat of U.S. tariffs on European car imports. The Hungarian central bank (NBH) is unlikely to tighten policy at its meeting later this month since GDP growth may slow and the bank expects a retreat in inflation late this year, market participants said. INFLATION While Hungary's inflation is near the NBH's 2-4% target range, Poland's inflation is well within the 1.5-3.5% goal. There is no need to change Polish interest rates until the end of the Monetary Policy Council's term in 2022, governor Adam Glapinski said after an MPC meeting on Wednesday. The zloty, which touched a 10-week low against the euro in early trade, rebounded later, to trade at 4.3025, firmer by 0.1% from Tuesday, as the central bank's comments caused no surprise. Polish government bond yields fell in tandem with their Hungarian peers, tracking Bunds. Hungary's 10-year yield was fixed at 3.13%, dropping 4 basis points to its lowest level in 5 weeks. The leu eased slightly to 4.7615 versus the euro, even though Romanian central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said policymakers would continue to use market liquidity operations to tighten monetary policy. Regional equities gained, tracking a rebound in Asia caused by hopes that the United States and China will resolve their trade dispute. Leading the way was a 0.9% rise for Budapest's bluechip index, which had hit a three-month low in Tuesday's session. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1651 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.7350 25.7460 +0.04% -0.11% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 324.8700 324.4500 -0.13% -1.17% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.3035 4.3086 +0.12% -0.32% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7615 4.7600 -0.03% -2.26% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4230 7.4125 -0.14% -0.18% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.9800 117.9000 -0.07% +0.27% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1052.07 1050.310 +0.17% +6.64% 0 Budapest 40428.29 40084.64 +0.86% +3.29% Warsaw 2174.26 2163.94 +0.48% -4.50% Bucharest 8174.16 8135.82 +0.47% +10.71% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 863.47 863.12 +0.04% +7.36% > Zagreb 1837.12 1840.89 -0.20% +5.05% Belgrade <.BELEX1 733.01 735.08 -0.28% -3.77% 5> Sofia 566.36 563.42 +0.52% -4.73% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.6140 -0.1470 +228bps -12bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.6870 -0.0210 +220bps +1bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8610 0.0020 +196bps +3bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6560 -0.0410 +232bps -2bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2220 -0.0040 +274bps +2bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.8500 -0.0160 +295bps +2bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.22 2.22 2.19 2.20 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.34 0.50 0.68 0.16 Poland 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto, editing by Larry King)

CEE MARKETS-Robust GDP data fail to boost currencies amid uncertain outlook

15 May 2019

* GDP growth in CEE is higher than forecast * Wage surge fuels inflation, export outlook uncertain * Daimler confirms postponing plant expansion in Hungary * Forint at lowest in more than five months * Budapest stocks rebound By Sandor Peto and Luiza Ilie BUDAPEST, May 15 The forint fell to its weakest since November on Wednesday after robust first-quarter economic data from Central Europe failed to ease concern over inflation in the region and growth in Europe. Output figures from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia showed faster-than-expected annual growth. But the forint touched a five-and-a-half month low of 325 to the euro. The Polish zloty and Romanian leu also weakened. Hungary's growth picked up to 5.3%, its fastest rate in 15 years. But the news coincided with a confirmation from German car maker Daimler that it had postponed further expansion of a Hungarian plant. Domestic economies remain the key to growth in Central Europe. A slowdown in the euro zone, the region's key export market, raises worries. So does the threat of U.S. tariffs on European car imports. Germany's economy returned to quarterly growth in the first quarter, but annual growth at 0.7% was well below the 2.5% and 5.3% growth rates reported in Central Europe on Wednesday. Investors are expected to watch the comments of the Polish and Romanian central banks closely after their meetings on Wednesday. They are expected to keep interest rates on hold, but may comment on a rise in inflation in April. "We expect hawkish rhetoric at today's press briefing (in Bucharest) and the strict liquidity control pledge to be reiterated," ING analysts said in a note. "Without some augmentation of the policy toolkit, however, the pledge is likely to lose credibility." The Hungarian central bank is unlikely to tighten policy at its meeting late this month, since GDP growth may slow and the bank expects a retreat in inflation late this year, market participants said. Regional equities gained, tracking a rebound in Asia caused by hopes the United States and China will resolve their trade disputes, averting a protracted trade war. Budapest's blue-chip stock index rose 0.6%, regaining some ground from its three-month low on Tuesday, as shares of OTP Bank rebounded. Regional government bond yields tracked a drop in Bunds. Ten-year Polish bonds traded at 2.83%. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1026 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.7460 25.7460 +0.00% -0.15% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 324.8000 324.4500 -0.11% -1.14% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.3100 4.3086 -0.03% -0.47% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7610 4.7600 -0.02% -2.25% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4150 7.4125 -0.03% -0.07% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.7900 117.9000 +0.09% +0.43% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1053.23 1050.310 +0.28% +6.76% 0 Budapest 40330.57 40084.64 +0.61% +3.04% Warsaw 2176.34 2163.94 +0.57% -4.41% Bucharest 8167.87 8135.82 +0.39% +10.62% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 864.14 863.12 +0.12% +7.45% > Zagreb 1838.09 1840.89 -0.15% +5.11% Belgrade <.BELEX1 733.01 735.08 -0.28% -3.77% 5> Sofia 562.18 563.42 -0.22% -5.43% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.6070 -0.1550 +226bps -14bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7160 0.0080 +222bps +3bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8320 -0.0260 +193bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6990 0.0020 +236bps +2bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2070 -0.0190 +272bps +0bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.8410 -0.0250 +293bps +0bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.22 2.22 2.19 2.20 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.35 0.52 0.69 0.16 Poland 1.75 1.75 1.77 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto, editing by Larry King)

EU heads put climate, democracy and jobs at heart of future course

10 May 2019

SIBIU, Romania Fighting climate change, safeguarding the rule of law and finding a modern model for growth must be at the heart of the European Union, the bloc's leaders agreed in Thursday talks meant to show unity despite the damage from Brexit.

Top EU officials warn Romania over rule of law

09 May 2019

SIBIU, Romania The European Union warned Romania on Thursday it could face firmer action over the government's legal changes that the bloc has said threaten the rule of law.

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