The credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has warned that the measures announced by the Government to try to stop the rise in the price of electricity leave Spanish electricity companies at a “competitive disadvantage” compared to their European competitors.
In a report published this Friday, the risk rating agency warns that the measures against company profits have an impact on the “predictability” of the Spanish regulatory framework due to “political interference.”
” We believe that company ratings will be broadly resilient to the most punitive measures, always assuming that the measures are temporary, ” Fitch analysts Pilar Auguets, María Delia Linares and Jaime Sierra have warned. In case they are extended much more in time, the firm will review the debt capacity of the companies.
“The lack of similar interventions in neighboring countries worsens the relative positioning of the Spanish regulatory framework. Spanish power companies have been left at a competitive disadvantage compared to their European peers, ” the agency warned.
Fitch’s valuation refers primarily to the two government measures that will affect the company’s earnings. On the one hand, the return of the “extraordinary benefits” that the electricity companies obtain by passing on the gas costs that they do not bear on the electricity generation plants. The Executive estimates this amount at 2,600 million euros.
On the other hand, the measures to act on the so-called “benefits fallen from the sky” of nuclear and hydraulic energy, which the Government initially estimated at 1,000 million but finally lowered to 625 million.
The regulatory framework lacks independence, transparency and predictability
Fitch has warned that “historically” it has always considered Spain’s energy regulatory framework as “less robust” than that of most European countries in relation to its independence, transparency and predictability.
For the rating agency, these new measures are negative because they “challenge” the marginalist market design of the EU, distort the competitiveness of Spanish electricity producers and “compromise” the achievement of the country’s energy transition objectives.
The total economic impact of these measures, according to Fitch’s calculations, will be borne above all by Iberdrola and Endesa, which will assume 39% and 36% of the impact. Behind are Naturgy (8%), EDP (3%) and Acciona (1%).
The report published this Friday is the second in a row published by a rating agency against the government’s measures against power companies. This Thursday, S&P Global warned that the reforms threatened to slow down the energy transition objectives and even valued the possibility that companies would decide to reduce their investments in Spain due to “regulatory uncertainty.”