* Spain cuts disbursements for distributors by 10 percent
* Raises fixed access tariffs for consumers by 18 percent
* Keeps remuneration for Red Electrica at 1.62 billion euros
(Adds tariff hike for consumers)
MADRID, Feb 3 The Spanish government has cut
disbursements for electricity distributors while raising the
fixed tariffs that consumers pay for the amount of electricity
contracted, in a move to reduce a large deficit in the power
The new rates are part of a series of government measures
aimed at curbing a 30-billion-euro ($40.5 billion) electricity
tariff deficit, created after years of a mismatch in regulated
prices and costs.
In a state bulletin published on Saturday, the government
said it would disburse 4.57 billion euros in regulated revenues
for electricity distributors such as Endesa and
Iberdrola in 2014, down 10 percent from a year ago and
The funds come out of power bills paid by consumers, which
are divided into regulated and non-regulated items.
Meanwhile, the fixed fees that consumers pay for the amount
of electricity they contract will increase by 18 percent,
ensuring revenues for the sector even if consumers try to reduce
their energy use.
Spanish electricity bills are among the highest in Europe
and have risen 35 percent in the past five years, according to
consumer group FACUA.
Among the 2014 payments for the country's three main power
distributors, Endesa will receive 1.98 billion euros, Iberdrola
1.57 billion euros and Gas Natural 723 million euros.
Banco Sabadell said in a note to clients that the total was
6.6 percent below the amount expected by the market and was
negative for the distributors.
Regulated distribution revenues account for 25 percent of
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) for Endesa, 18 percent for Iberdrola and 12 percent for
Gas Natural, it said.
Spain also set the regulated rates for transportation at
1.66 billion euros, with the vast majority going to national
electricity grid operator Red Electrica, in line with
the amount flagged by the company last month.
Red Electrica was one of the top gainers of the day on
Thursday, up 1.33 percent at 1340 GMT, to 52.6 euros per share,
outperforming the benchmark IBEX index which was down
In early trade several of the power distributors fell
sharply, which traders said was due to the remuneration
decision, but in mid-afternoon trade Iberdrola and Gas Natural
were almost flat, while Endesa was up 0.69 percent.
($1 = 0.7415 euros)
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Pravin