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Development strategy / Government squeezes even investment money from its own companies: EUR 120 million from only two entities in energy field

de Adrian N Ionescu , 12.11.2018

Nuclearelectrica (SNN) and Romgaz (SNG) have calculated the additional dividends to be paid to the state after the Ministry of Finance (MFP) sent to the big state-owned companies the measures they need to take to redistribute their reserves and “retained earnings” of previous years.

The amount of additional gross dividends that the state will receive to maintain the budget deficit within the limits that are acceptable for the European Commission amounts to over RON 545 million (almost EUR 120 million) only from the two companies.

Regarding the others, more money would come from Hidroelectrica, joined by other companies that have not yet announced the convocation of shareholders for this purpose. Hidroelectrica last year paid extra dividends of RON 655 million.

Nuclearelectrica (SNN) will pay gross dividends of RON 238 million, of which over RON 195 million will be collected by the state for the stake owned of 70% and Romgaz (SNG) will transfer additional dividends of RON 501 million.

State-owned companies are anyway required to distribute at least 90% of the annual profit as dividends.

The convening of SNN general shareholders meeting invokes a memorandum approved by the Government on October 31, on the topic “Measures to be taken by public institutions involved in applying OUG 29/2017 provisions on the distribution/redistribution of the amounts representing the retained earnings and other reserves from national companies and publicly owned or controlled companies, as well as autonomous companies”.

Last year, the Government doubled its dividend revenues with the extra revenue, to RON 4.4 billion.

Only Romgaz has also given last year extra dividends of RON 750 million only from reserves and profits brought forward in the previous years, to which RON 925 million have been added as dividends from the 2016 profit.

Urgent and postponed investments

Despoiling the resources of the state-owned companies continues this year, despite their major investment needs.

The shutdowns of Unit 1 of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant are becoming increasingly frequent, as the lifetime of the reactor is approaching the end, and Nuclearelectrica (SNN) should spend about EUR 1.5 billion for retrofitting.

The company announced that it has met only 27.6% of the major investment objectives of last year’s program and that “in the medium and long-term, SNN needs to conserve its funding sources for the implementation of significant investment projects.”

In its turn, Romgaz (SNG) faces the need to increase its resources as the old ones are running out (for instance, the development of the new Caragele deposit). Romgaz has also achieved only 68.4% of 2017 investment program of RON 1.14 billion.

The company also has to meet the challenges of diversifying the business and investing in Mintia and Iernut power plants of 430 MW, as well as in the chemical industry (about EUR 1 billion).

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