UPDATE 1-Romania - Factors to watch on March 20

Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:28am EDT

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BUCHAREST, March 20 (Reuters) - Here are news stories, press reports and events to watch which may affect Romanian financial markets on Wednesday.

GOVERNMENT MEETING

Romania's centrist coalition government holds weekly meeting starting from 1000 GMT.

PRESIDENT

Nebojsa Radmanovic, President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is on a visit to Romania and is expected to meet President Traian Basescu and other Romanian officials on Wednesday.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE

The secretary general of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, is on a visit to Romania and is expected to meet Prime Minister Ponta and other officials on Wednesday.

MICROSOFT BACKS REVIEW OF FOREIGN BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS

Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday that allegations of potential bribery by employees in China, Romania and Italy should be reviewed by U.S. agencies and its own compliance unit, but declined to address the specifics of any cases.

CEE MARKETS

Central European currencies paused on Tuesday after sharp falls in the previous session and Hungary's forint rebounded from near 14-month lows as investors tracked events in Cyprus.

SHALE GAS

* U.S. energy major Chevron needs two more permits before it can start drilling in Romania, said Thomas Holst, country manager at Chevron Romania Exploration and Production. Ziarul Financiar, Page 1

* The moratorium on shale gas exploration ended in December and was not extended, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said.

Adevarul, Page 4

POWER CONSUMPTION

Power consumption fell by 11 percent on the year in February, according to data from state-owned power grid operator Transelectrica. Ziarul Financiar, Page 1

EURO ADOPTION

Romania will not be able join the euro zone in 2015, but should not give up trying to meet the accession criteria, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said. Ponta said 2020 could be a possible date. Ziarul Financiar, Page 2

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