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EDF (DE000A1XQ1S7.EX)

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[audio] Britain's energy suppliers could be on track for their biggest shake up since privatisation when regulators rule on Thursday whether the industry is competitive enough following a public outcry over high prices. Three regulators will say whether the whole industry needs to be subjected to a full-blown anti-trust investigation which could result in some of the big gas and electricity suppliers being broken up. Public trust in the country's "big six" providers, which control around 95 percent of the market, is at an all-time low after years of rising energy bills and allegations they are abusing their market position. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review of competition in the energy retail sector in October last year, calling the high cost of energy unacceptable.
[audio] * Other suppliers expected to follow suit on price freeze LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - British power utility SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE - news) said it would freeze prices and separate its wholesale and retail businesses after an outcry over soaring energy bills prompted a review of competition in the sector. Britain's 'Big Six' energy suppliers, which control around 95 percent of the retail market, have come under fire for consistently increasing tariffs and regulators are deciding this week whether to open a full antitrust investigation. The price increases have put SSE, Scottish Power, Centrica (LSE: CNA.L - news) , RWE (Xetra: RWE.DE - news) npower, E.ON and EDF (EUREX: DE000A1XQ1S7.EX - news) Energy at the centre of a political row over the cost of living, nearly one year before a general election.
[audio] * Other suppliers expected to follow suit on price freeze (Adds comments from political leaders, updates share price) LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - British power utility SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE - news) said it would freeze prices and separate its wholesale and retail businesses after an outcry over soaring energy bills prompted a review of competition in the sector. SSE, the country's second-biggest household energy supplier, promised on Wednesday it would freeze bills for its customers from now until January 2016, a move that would lop 100 million pounds off its profits over the entire period. The price freeze forces SSE's rivals to consider similar moves as customers increasingly shop around for the best deals.
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[audio] Britain is reviewing its nuclear cooperation agreement with Russian state firm Rosatom because of the Ukraine crisis, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said. The UK last November opened the doors to Russia to build nuclear power plants in the country by signing a pact with Rosatom to help the company prepare potentially to enter the British market. But Britain's DECC said it had put the agreement under consideration as tension between the East and West mounts after Russian forces seized Ukraine's Crimea region. "No decisions have been made on how this work will be taken forward, which is under consideration in the light of recent developments in Ukraine," a DECC spokesperson said by email.
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[audio] Returns for French utility EDF (EUREX: DE000A1XQ1S7.EX - news) and other investors in Britain's first new nuclear plant in two decades, supported by the government, are much higher than for other projects, according to a report by a cross-party think-tank. EDF (Paris: FR0010242511 - news) plans to start operating the first new nuclear reactor at the Hinkley Point C site in southern England in 2023. "Expected equity returns on Hinkley Point C are around 19 to 21 percent, substantially higher than expected equity returns on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects and regulated electricity network assets," the report said on Tuesday. The European Commission is investigating whether Britain's support for nuclear complies with European Union state aid rules.
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[audio] * List of plants wanting opt-out of EU directive published LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Britain could face at least 12 gigawatts (GW) of power plant capacity going off line by the end of 2023 due to tighter European Union pollution regulation, Reuters calculations based on government data showed on Wednesday. Britain is at risk of a severe power capacity crunch in the 2020s as ageing nuclear power stations come to the end of their life and coal and gas plants shut down because they cannot afford to add costly technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to comply with EU law.
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[audio] As a historic oil and gas boom transforms the U.S. energy sector, Wall Street is losing the battle to remain the partner of choice for energy producers and major consumers seeking to protect themselves against volatile prices. In the thriving Texas Permian oil patch and beyond, banks are being edged out by a handful of the world's biggest corporations including BP Plc (LSE: BP.L - news) , Cargill and Koch Industries. With Wall Street hamstrung by growing regulatory restrictions, a recently finalized ban on proprietary trading and increased capital requirements, these corporate behemoths are leveraging their robust balance sheets and savvy global trading desks to capture as much as a quarter of the global multibillion-dollar market for hedging commodity prices. New risks have arisen this year that could tilt the scales further, as the Federal Reserve considers limiting banks' ability to trade in real physical markets, the kind of deals that are increasingly important for many of the smaller and mid-sized companies at the fore of the U.S. energy renaissance.
[audio] As a historic oil and gas boom transforms the U.S. energy sector, Wall Street is losing the battle to remain the partner of choice for energy producers and major consumers seeking to protect themselves against volatile prices. In the thriving Texas Permian oil patch and beyond, banks are being edged out by a handful of the world's biggest corporations including BP Plc (LSE: BP.L - news) , Cargill and Koch Industries. With Wall Street hamstrung by growing regulatory restrictions, a recently finalized ban on proprietary trading and increased capital requirements, these corporate behemoths are leveraging their robust balance sheets and savvy global trading desks to capture as much as a quarter of the global multibillion-dollar market for hedging commodity prices. New risks have arisen this year that could tilt the scales further, as the Federal Reserve considers limiting banks' ability to trade in real physical markets, the kind of deals that are increasingly important for many of the smaller and mid-sized companies at the fore of the U.S. energy renaissance.

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