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GDF SUEZ - Belgian government speaks up

GDF SUEZ - Belgian government speaks up

27.11.2012 12:02

The Belgian government reached an agreement that the nuclear sector will need to pay € 550m in nuclear interest over 2012 (up from € 250m last year), and € 475m over 2013. The latter reflects the temporarily closure of Doel 3 and Tihange 2 over 2012. Belgian financial newspaper De Tijd reports that the percentage of the € 300m additional nuclear interest that will need to be paid by GDF Suez will be higher than pro-rate assumed, as the government intends to protect smaller producers. EDF ( EUR, 0,00%) Luminus would need to pay an extra gross amount of € 15m, EDF Belgium € 17m and Electrabel € 267m. We calculated that GDF Suez needed to pay 70% of the nuclear interest or € 254m after-tax. We calculate that based on the higher share on the additional part, the nuclear interest after tax due by GDF Suez will amount to € 292m over 2012 and € 280m over 2013. These are only small changes vs. our initial € 254m forecast. Going forward the government is in talks with GDF Suez to change the nuclear interest calculation mechanism which should no longer be based on installed capacity.

1GW of Tihange 1 needs to be sold at a small margin:
It was also decided that as a consequence of the life time extension of Tihange 1 by 10 years, the 1GW produced by Tihange 1 will need to be put on the market from 2015 onwards. Electrabel will need to sell half of that capacity to its competitors and the other half to large consumers and the industry. As a result the Blue-Sky members will still have sufficient sourcing once their drawing rights on Doel 1 & 2 come to an end as a result of the closure of these nuclear units in 2015. Secretary of State for Energy Melchior Wathelet has been given a mandate to negotiate with GDF Suez on the conditions and the price at which the 1GW will be ‘sold’. Electrabel would be able to obtain a small margin.

Belgian government remains committed to lower consumer energy bill:
Friday the government Di Rupo also wants to consider how the electricity and gas prices can be kept under control as the price freeze expires by year end. The central question is whether the prices can be decoupled from oil prices.

Our view:
The aforementioned items were expected but are still negative for sentiment and we believe it shows that the Belgian government remains committed to restructure the Belgian utility sector, mainly at the expense of Electrabel / GDF Suez.

We stick to our Hold rating and € 20/sh TP on GDF Suez as the political andmacro environment continue to pressure earnings but believe that the attractive dividend - to

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