ZF News

23 dec 2009 Ziarul Financiar

Ionut Popescu appointed general manager of Property Fund

Ionut Popescu, a member of PD-L (Democratic Liberal Party) and adviser of Prime Minister Emil Boc, is the new general manager of the Property Fund (FP), after the Supervisory Board of the FP removed Daniela Lulache from her position on Tuesday. He takes over at the helm of one of the largest Romanian companies, with over 3.2 billion euros in assets, which holds stakes in the largest energy companies. Ionut Popescu will earn over 10,000 euros (42,500 RON per month) as general manager of the Fund, a lot more than his around 800-euro (3,700-RON) salary as an adviser. He started his career as a sports journalist, and then became editor-in-chief at Capital business magazine. He entered politics in 2003, when he joined the PNL (National Liberal Party), and then accompanied Theodor Stolojan to PD-L . He was finance minister within the Tariceanu Government between 2004 and 2005. In 2009 he was adviser of prime-minister Emil Boc for almost a year. In addition to his experience in the financial sector, he is also a shareholder in the Property Fund, where he holds 0.1%.

Rapotan family drops distribution of Unilever's products after 13 years

Unilever is left with two distributors on the Romanian market, Aquila and Macromex, after Legato, controlled by Angelica Rapotan, wife of Arabesque founder Cezar Rapotan - decided to end the partnership with consumer goods giant. Legato, with 34.6 million euros in turnover, has been distributing Unilever products for around 13 years, with this partner being its only big supplier of consumer goods. The company's partnership with Unilever has brought it over 20 million euros in annual revenues, according to market data.
"We regret Legato's unilateral decision to end this partnership, which has been going on for a very long time," said representatives of Unilever South Central Europe. Contacted by ZF, representatives of the distributor did not wish to give comment on the issue. Legato is held by Angelica Rapotan (80% of the shares) and Catalin Cisleanu (20%), according to data from the Romanian Trade Registry.

Scandia Sibiu tinned meat producer to pursue exports

Robert Redeleanu, who has been at the helm of the largest tinned meat producer on the Romanian market, Scandia Romania, since March, says the company needs to tap into other food industry segments in order to weather the crisis and have more development opportunities. "We have to relearn how to grow. For the next year we will have a growth agenda in Romania and a cost-cutting agenda in order to establish an export business," said Robert Redeleanu, general manager of Scandia Romania, a company with 53 million euros in turnover in 2008, which controls over 67% of the tinned meat market. Redeleanu added that Scandia developed the tinned meat market significantly, but that a major change was needed in order for the producer to hit its targets over the next five years. "We have to expand outside tinned meat production, that is why I am interested in other segments of the food industry," added the company manager.

Former CrisTim marketing manager recruited by Billa

Cristian Ungureanu, former marketing manager of charcuterie producer CrisTim, took over the position of service manager at Billa Romania, and now coordinates meat and delicacies operations, sales, and purchases of the largest supermarket chain on the Romanian market. "To be fair I was not planning to return to employee status very soon. I wanted to explore the possibility of developing a business on my own, while at the same time being very eager to know what it is like in the other camp, after many years of negotiating with retailers (as a producer's employee i.e.). That is why I did not say no when I was offered this job," Cristian Ungureanu said. Cristian Ungureanu's term within the charcuterie producer, which saw a rise in CrisTim's brand awareness, ended shortly after Radu Timis, owner of the over 90 million-euro charcuterie business, decided to return together with wife Cristina to the helm of the business they founded 15 years ago.

ING Asigurari: New policy sales down to half

ING Asigurari, the largest company on the Romanian insurance market, sold 40,000 new individual life insurance policies, half as many as in 2008, when 80,000 new policies were sold, says Cornelia Coman, the company's general manager. The life insurance market was hit by the rise in unemployment this year and by the decline in the population's revenues, as well as by the fact that over 60,000 people cancelled the policies they had sealed in previous years because they needed cash. "Currently, new policy sales are at 2006's level. As far as overall gross premiums are concerned, the trend of the first nine months will be preserved (a 9% decline on the similar period of 2008). Sales in the last quarter were rather weak, but client retention has improved," Coman says. In the first nine months, ING Asigurari's underwritten premiums amounted to 387.5 million RON (92.6 million euros), 9% less than in the similar period of last year. On the other hand, the insurer's gross profit went up 2.3 times, to 75.5 million RON (18 million euros).

Articol publicat în ediţia tipărită a Ziarului Financiar din data de 24.12.2009

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