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Announcement:

Moody's: Stable 2018 outlook for EMEA's regulated electric and gas sector driven by good cash flow visibility

11 Dec 2017

London, 11 December 2017 -- Ongoing cash flow certainty on the back of a steady regulatory environment underpins the stable outlook on EMEA's regulated electric and gas networks, though allowed returns are likely to fall in the year ahead, says Moody's Investors Service in a report published today.

"Our stable 2018 outlook on the EMEA regulated electric and gas networks sector reflects our expectation that regulatory regimes will remain broadly unchanged over the next 12-18 months, supporting cash flow visibility and stability for the sector," says Alastair Sullivan, Assistant Vice President -- Analyst at Moody's.

"Increasing inflation throughout Europe will benefit networks with inflation-linked cost allowances, although allowed returns are expected to continue to decline to reflect the continuing low interest rate environment," adds Mr. Sullivan.

Moody's report, " Regulated electric and gas networks -- EMEA: 2018 outlook stable with good cash flow visibility, but declining allowed returns," is available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release. The rating agency's report is an update to the markets and does not constitute a rating action.

New regulatory price controls over the past 12 months have been consistent with existing regulatory frameworks. With few regulatory reviews over the coming 18 months, the sector will continue to benefit from good cash flow visibility. New price controls in 2017 for gas transmission networks in France and the Netherlands will continue through 2021, until 2022 for gas networks in Ireland and until 2024 for electricity networks in Northern Ireland.

Rising inflation is credit positive for networks regulated under regimes where revenues are indexed to inflation. In 2017, inflation recovered from the low levels seen since 2014 and Moody's expects the rate to stabilise in most countries at between 1.5% to 2.0% over the course of 2018-19.

Reflecting the current low interest rate environment, allowed returns will continue to decline over the next 12-18 months. However, the risks associated with lower allowed returns are mitigated through a range of mechanisms which aim to better reflect the financing costs companies face.

Moody's expects the risk of political intervention in energy networks to remain low, including in the UK, for the next 12-18 months, but this may change if the Labour Party were to become the governing party in the UK.

Outside of the UK, political risks to regulated networks are relatively low, but national elections in Italy in 2018 and ongoing tensions in Spain over the potential independence of Catalunya, create some uncertainty for the domestic issuers in these countries.

Subscribers can access the report at:

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1084786

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Alastair Sullivan
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Neil Griffiths-Lambeth
Associate Managing Director
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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