Slovakia proposes holding household gas price steady in 2014

PRAGUE, Sept 30 Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:17am EDT

PRAGUE, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Slovakia's government, which agreed to take full control of gas utility SPP this month, is proposing to hold gas prices for households steady in 2014, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Monday.

Slovakia took control of SPP, with Czech energy group EPH retaining a 49 percent stake in the firm's key business unit, in a deal agreed earlier in September.

The arrangement allows the state to avoid clashes with private shareholders over gas pricing.

SPP's mother company "is proposing for 2014 exactly the same price as in 2013... so zero increase in the price for households," Fico said in a televised news conference.

The proposal will be made to the energy regulator.

EPH, controlled by investors Daniel Kretinsky, Petr Kellner (the Czech Republic's wealthiest man) and Czech-Slovak investment group J&T, bought its SPP stake from Germany's E.ON and France's GDF Suez for 2.6 billion euros ($3.52 billion) earlier this year. ($1 = 0.7385 euros) (Reporting by Jason Hovet,; Editing by Michael Kahn)

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