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Poland's energy market regulator rejects PGNiG's request for gas tariff increase

21.09.2006 11:08
Autor: KBC/Patria

Office for Energy Regulation (URE) refused to approve a 4.9% increase in gas tariffs submitted by PGNiG, claiming that situation on the market does not threaten a loss in the company's profitability. URE says that in favorable circumstances it is possible to reverse trend of increasing costs of imported gas purchase due to both imported prices and dollar exchange rate. In its comment on the URE decision, PGNiG said that the decision was made with disregard to the merits of the case and it is considering appealing the decision and has two weeks for that.

Our view:
With no changes in gas tariffs profits of PGNiG's utility segment could remain under pressure. Recent decline in crude oil prices will have come positive impact through lowering natural gas import costs, however, due to the price calculation formula (which takes the average price of the previous 6-9 months) the company would feel the healing impact in 1Q07 rather than in 4Q06. According to our calculation the refusal to hike the tariffs – ceteris paribus – might cause about PLN 200m losses for full year 2006 on the EBIT line, which made us to consider amending to our model. However, the company told us yesterday, that they are going to appeal the URE decision in the Ministry of Economics and in the court as well. Thus we are waiting to get more colours on this issue and until that reiterate our Buy call with a Fair Value of PLN 3.78.

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