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Romanian CFOs’ optimism for 2016: entering new markets or expanding business in size

Romanian CFOs are optimistic regarding the country’s growth in 2016 and are increasingly looking to either enter new markets or expand in size, according to the 7th edition of the Deloitte Central Europe CFO Survey which includes Romania, a press release informs on Wednesday.

The survey shows that nearly a quarter of the interviewed CFOs estimate a GDP growth up to 3.5 percent, which is in line with the World Bank’s forecast of 3.9 percent. Meanwhile over half of those interviewed (52 percent) are starting to see new markets as a source of revenue, compared to 33 percent last year. In addition, 57 percent of the CFOs expect the number of employees to increase.

“If three or four years ago companies were faced with budget cuts following the economic slowdown, companies are today looking again at expansion, as they are considering new markets more than before or are looking to expand their teams,” said Ahmed Hassan, Partner Deloitte Romania and CFO programme leader and continued: “On the other hand, the survey reveals talent shortage at middle, top and senior levels which will be an important issue for companies to consider over the next year.”

Despite Romanian CFOs showing a high degree of optimism regarding the future of the CEE region, the majority is still cautious when taking risks: 78 percent of the CFOs believe it is not a good time to take larger risks and 76 percent are looking at internal financing as a source of funding rather than bank borrowing.

According to Hassan, the recent changes such as the new Fiscal Code are also well regarded by CFOs as 69 percent believe these will have a positive impact on their business. “In the short term the level of optimism and business sentiment will be influenced by economic and political stability,” Partner Deloitte Romania notes.

In this context, Mircea Varga, CFO Tiriac Holdings, said that Romania could become one of the most attractive economies in Europe depending on its ability to manage a favourable moment.

”Despite a discouraging year-beginning marked by global turbulences with main indexes reaching historic lows for the last five years, dramatic de-capitalisation of important European banks in the context of discrete adoption of the ‘bail-in’ measure for the European banking system and serious questions concerning the US economy’s entry into a new recession, I remain optimistic regarding Romania’s economic growth in 2016. I believe a 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent increase of its GDP is still sustainable,” Varga said.

In his turn, Bogdan Popa, Vice President & CFO Raiffeisen Bank Romania said that 2016 will bring more competition among banks in their efforts to bring new investment opportunities particularly for SMEs.

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