According to official draft documents, the Romanian government plans to introduce a new tax for electricity monopolies. The draft regulation published by the Ministry of Finance targets the profits obtained by electricity monopolies such as national electricity grid operator (Transelectrica), national gas pipeline operator (Transgaz) and distributors of electricity and gas. The tax should be in place by end-2014. The exact mechanism of implementation is not very clear, with the companies yet to present details. One of the unknowns is if the tax will add to the existing tariff or not. The value of the tax stands at RON 0.45 per MWh for electricity/gas transported from the national grid to distributors, RON 1.25 per MWh for electricity/gas distributed and RON 1.7 per MWh for electricity/gas transported only through the main system of transport. It is also unclear if the distributors/transmission operator will bear this tax or not.
According to our calculations, the tax will have an impact of about RON 30m on Transelectrica’s EBIT (estimated at RON 200m) and RON 70m on Transgaz’s EBIT (estimated at RON 350m) this year. In our opinion, the implementation of the tax with Transelectrica/Transgaz having to pay these amounts makes little economic sense since both companies are completely regulated and the tariffs should be established by ANRE in such a way that they obtain a “fair” profit in accordance with the utilities
regulation. The news came out during yesterday’s trading session and had a neutral impact. Transelectrica recently received a tariff increase by ANRE, justified exactly by the fact that 2012 profits are below those implied by the regulated rate of return. We view the news as slightly negative but we are waiting for more clarification from the companies on the way in which this tax will be implemented. Fondul Proprietatea owns 15% in Transgaz, 13.5% in Transelectrica and 10-25% in the electricity and gas distributors. Additionally, Fondul Proprietatea owns 20% in Petrom and 15% in Romgaz which are affected by the gas tax (details in the Petrom related news).