A new first: EU utility writes down asset values citing market problems.

FT: Vattenfall is to restructure and slash costs and investment after taking a $4.6bn hit to its asset values due to “increasingly gloomy market prospects”. “The writedowns include  SKr29.7bn ($4.6bn), or 6 per cent of total asset values, with about half the impairment relating to coal and gas power plants in the Netherlands. “….Although Vattenfall is the first big European utility to cite market conditions as the reason for a major writedown of its assets, the sector has suffered from the high debts it incurred in the boom years before the financial crisis. In May the bosses of eight leading energy utilities warned that policy and regulatory uncertainty in the EU would hit investment, supply and jobs.
….Of the writedowns, SKr14.5bn relates to coal and gas power plants in the Netherlands, SKr4.1bn to coal plants in Germany, SKr2.5bn to combined heat and power plants in the Nordic countries, and SKr6.8bn to goodwill primarily in trading operations.”