Romania - Factors to watch on Feb 19

BUCHAREST Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:36am EST

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BUCHAREST Feb 19 (Reuters) - Here are news stories, press reports and events to watch which may affect Romanian financial markets on Wednesday.

PETROM

Romania's top oil and gas company Petrom ROSNP.BX, controlled by Austria's OMV OMVV.VI, recorded a 9.4 percent increase in its October-December net profit on the year to 1.16 billion lei ($355.93 million), it said on Wednesday.

POWER MARKET

Romania will launch a platform for over-the-counter electricity trades on March 3, a highly anticipated move among market participants after the country enacted a law in 2012 that banned bi-lateral and brokered power contracts.

CEE MARKETS

The forint weakened against the euro on Tuesday after Hungary's central bank cut rates more than expected, disregarding the turbulence in emerging markets since it met in January.

RAIL ROAD

Romania's state-owned rail company is looking for bidders by April 3 for a contract to upgrade roughly 60 kilometres of rails in northwestern Romania over 5 years. The project is estimated to cost 5.5 billion lei ($1.69 billion).

Ziarul Financiar

ALRO SLATINA

Foreign-owned aluminum smelter Alro Slatina recorded a preliminary net loss of 78 million lei overall in 2013, compared with a loss of 155 million lei in the previous year, driven by lower international prices and higher domestic energy taxes, it said on Tuesday. Ziarul Financiar

CAR SECTOR

* Car sales in Romania rose 16 percent on the year in January, data showed.

* Ford Motor Co. will halt production at its Romanian car factory for five days in March and three days in April because of low demand. Ziarul Financiar

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