LONDON, Sept 26 British utilities Centrica
and SSE have lost 2.7 billion pounds ($4.34
billion) in market value since opposition Labour leader Ed
Miliband promised on Tuesday to freeze energy prices for 20
months if he wins power in May 2015.
Seeking to convince voters he can improve their standard of
living, Miliband said that energy companies had been
overcharging British consumers for too long and that the energy
market was not working.
"The companies aren't going to like this, because it will
cost them more," Miliband told party activists in the seaside
resort of Brighton in southern England on Tuesday.
A Labour source close to Miliband said the plan could cost
energy suppliers 4.5 billion pounds ($7.2 billion).
"Although there remains uncertainty surrounding the detail
of the policies or whether Labour will even win the next
election, we believe the risk level in the sector has now
substantially increased," JP Morgan analyst Edmund Reid said in
a note to clients.
Centrica has lost 7.3 percent, or 1.5 billion pounds, since
the market close on Tuesday while SSE has fallen, 7.5 percent,
or 1.2 billion pounds, according to Reuters calculations.
($1 = 0.6224 British pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young and Kate Holton, editing by Guy