|Bid||267.40 x 0|
|Ask||267.60 x 0|
|Day's Range||267.00 - 272.60|
|52 Week Range||259.80 - 432.40|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.31|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||38.14|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.15 (5.54%)|
|1y Target Est||419.22|
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British utility stocks are trading at a growing discount to euro zone peers as investors fear the country's deepening political crisis could trigger a general election that ushers in renationalisation of the industry, worth $76 billion (£59.9 billion). The opposition Labour Party has said it wants to nationalise energy and water infrastructure if it can oust Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives from power, reversing decades of pro-privatisation policies. Simon Webber, lead portfolio manager on the global and international equities team at Schroders said those fears were "another overhang" for utilities, already subject to a discount like other UK assets because of Brexit uncertainty.
British gas network company Cadent has paid a record penalty of 44 million pounds for failing to properly supply gas to some customers, regulator Ofgem said on Wednesday. The penalty, which will see Cadent pay 24 million pounds for improvements and compensation and set up a 20 million pound community fund, comes a week after Britain's opposition Labour party set out plans to nationalise the sector if it comes into power. Cadent Gas generated an operating profit of 724 million pounds in 2018.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.2 percent and the FTSE 250 dropped 0.1 percent. "What's clear from today's PMI numbers is that there are as yet no green shoots of spring for the euro zone," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said. Euro zone business activity barely grew in April as demand was sluggish even though prices rose modestly, surveys showed.
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Britain's Drax has been given government approval to build a 90 million pound gas plant in the east of England, the company said on Tuesday. The 299 megawatt (MW) plant will be a so-called peaking plant which means it only fires up for operation during times of peak demand. Drax said it could be generating electricity by 2022 but this would be subject to it securing a capacity market subsidy from the government.
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Drax, which has the capacity to provide electricity for around 13 million homes, converted the fourth of its six former coal-fired plants to use biomass wood pellets last year, ahead of Britain's plans to phase out coal plants by 2025. Drax aims to replace the two remaining units with gas plants, but CEO Will Gardiner said this depended on the new plants receiving government support.
EU state aid regulators opened on Friday an in-depth investigation into Britain's capacity market scheme, three months after an EU court scrapped its 2014 decision approving the project. The Luxembourg-based General Court ordered the European Commission to get more details on certain elements of the mechanism which pays utilities to make electricity available at short notice. "The Commission's investigation will focus, in particular, on the participation of energy consumers offering to reduce their electricity consumption in times of supply disequilibrium in the electricity market," the EU executive said.
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Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today withdrawn the Baa1 issuer rating of ScottishPower Generation Ltd ("SPGEN"). The rating action follows the announcement on 2 January 2019 by SPGEN's ultimate parent company, Iberdrola S.A. (Baa1 stable), that it had completed the sale of 100% of the share capital in SPGEN to Drax Group plc for GBP702 million (subject to customary adjustments and a risk sharing mechanism) on 31 December 2018. Moody's has withdrawn the credit rating because SPGEN was the subject of a corporate reorganization.
Britain has asked the European Commission to conclude its inquiry into its power capacity market mechanism in time for the government to resume payments to power suppliers in October, a senior official said on Friday. The Commission is looking into the mechanism, which pays utilities to make electricity available at short notice, after a European court ruling halted the scheme and payments. This halt of payments raised questions about the security of supply especially during the winter months should utilities such as Centrica (CNA.L), SSE (SSE.L) and Drax (DRX.L), which won contracts under the scheme, fail to deliver.