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Sweden, Finland step in to avert Lehman-like situation for power companies

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Sweden, Finland to offer liquidity guarantees to energy firms By Reuters

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Economy 10 minutes ago (Sep 04, 2022 15:50)

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Swedish Finance Minister Mikael Damberg attends a press conference to propose relief for households affected by high electricity prices, in Rosenbad, Stockholm, Sweden January 12, 2022. Johan Jeppsson /TT News Agency/via REUTERS/File Photo

STOCKHOLM/HELSINKI (Reuters) -Finland and Sweden on Sunday announced plans to offer billions of dollars in liquidity guarantees to energy companies in their countries after Russia’s Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) shut the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, deepening Europe’s energy crisis.

Finland is aiming to offer 10 billion euros ($9.95 billion) and Sweden plans to offer 250 billion Swedish crowns ($23.2 billion) in liquidity guarantees.

Swedish Finance Minister Mikael Damberg on Sunday said that the guarantees would last until March next year in Sweden and would also cover all Nordic and Baltic nations for the next two weeks only.

Without government guarantees, electricity producers could have ended up in “technical bankruptcy” on Monday, Damberg said.

Lower gas flows from Russia both before and after its February invasion of Ukraine have already pushed up European prices by nearly 400% over the past year, sending electricity costs soaring.

The rapid rise in electricity prices have resulted in paper losses on electricity futures contracts of energy firms, forcing them to find funds to post additional collateral with the exchanges.

($1 = 10.7633 Swedish crowns)

($1 = 1.0049 euros)

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