Utility Week

UTILITY Week 5th September 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 12Th - 18Th SEpTEmbEr 2014 | 19 Finance & Investment Stock watch 1520 1500 1480 1460 1440 SSE SharE pricE, 4-9 SEptEmbEr 4 September 5 September 8 September 9 September The share price of Scotland's biggest energy utility SSE has taken a hit as uncertainty over the outcome of the referendum on independence intensifies. Its shares fell below 1,500p as voter polling showed an increase in support for Scottish independence. "We would expect the continued uncertainty around Scottish independence to weigh on SSE shares in the coming weeks," an investor note from Citigroup said. For more on SSE's share price see story above. This week SSE share price falls as 'Yes' pulls ahead Analysts predict that one-third of SSE's profits could be at risk if Scotland gains independence SSE's share price fell by more than 2 per cent on the back of a surge in support for the 'Yes' campaign in polling ahead of the Scottish referendum. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times was the first to indicate that the pro-independence cam- paign had a lead. The survey of 1,084 people put the Yes campaign in front with 51 per cent, with the 'Better Together' campaign polling 49 per cent. SSE's share price fell from 1,508p at the close of trad- ing on Friday, to 1,478p by the time the market opened again on Monday, aer the publication of the poll results. By Tuesday morning, the price had fallen yet further to 1,462p. Around half of SSE's profit (EBIT) comes from Scot- land, and analysts estimate about one-third of SSE's profit would be "at risk" due to the loss of Renewables Obligation certificate income, should the Yes campaign be successful on 18 September. Other concurrent polls still put the No campaign nar- rowly ahead, with a lead of up to six percentage points. However, this lead has narrowed significantly over recent weeks. SSE has remained neutral in relation to the Scottish referendum, stating in March that a single energy market would be "likely" in the event of a yes vote, although it added that negotiations between the Scottish and UK governments could be "complex" in the event of inde- pendence, which might result in changes to the existing market. MB rEnEWabLES New partner for Galloper imminent RWE Innogy says it could have a new equity partner in its Gal- loper offshore windfarm in place by the end of the year, with "strong appetite" in the project confirmed by potential investors. The renewable developer said on Thursday that the 340MW project continues to progress along the existing timeline, despite SSE's unexpected with- drawal in March this year. A spokeswoman for the com- pany told Utility Week it expects to confirm a new partner ahead of the final investment decision, which is planned for the end of this year or early in 2015. WaTEr Takeover bids expected after PR14 Takeover bids for water compa- nies are expected to be made aer Ofwat publishes its final determinations, according to analysts. Analysts have told Utility Week that once the PR14 final determinations have been pub- lished in December, attention is likely to turn back towards merg- ers and acquisitions (M&A). Severn Trent Water was subject of a failed £5.3 billion takeover bid by LongRiver consortium in June last year, but there is a belief that there will be more takeover bids in the sector next year. Stephen Hunt, analyst at UBS, added: "Now that we are starting to get regulatory clarity, especially once the final deter- minations are put behind us, then clearly M&A is very much back on the cards." Angelos Anastasiou, utilities analyst at Whitman-Howard, said: "There is some takeover potential in the water sector in the medium term." In April 2013, Ofwat CEO Cathryn Ross opened the door to potential mergers when she said that "changes to the industry structure may be appropriate". WaTEr NI Water slashes running costs Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) has cut its running costs by £7 million in 2013-14 com- pared with the previous year, its annual report has revealed. This has led to a reduction in customers' water bills of 4 per cent. NI Water has also more than doubled its overall performance assessment from 98 in 2007-08 to a record high of 216 in 2013-14. NI Water's chairman, Seán Hogan, said: "Since 2007-08, we have invested £1.5 billion in Northern Ireland's water and wastewater infrastructure. This is helping us deliver record lev- els of service to our customers." About half of SSE's profit comes from Scotland

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