October 30, 2018 / 12:44 PM / 16 days ago

Vattenfall seen as buyer of default-hit Nordic Nasdaq power portfolio

OSLO (Reuters) - Sweden’s Vattenfall is seen as the buyer of a Norwegian power trader’s portfolio after his default on Nasdaq’s Nordic commodities exchange last month, confirming on Tuesday it was among the firms asked to participate in the auction.

FILE PHOTO: Magnus Hall, CEO of Swedish power company Vattenfall, presents the company's first-quarter 2015 report during a news conference at Vattenfall headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Janerik Henriksson/File Photo

The trader, Einar Aas, racked up losses he could not cover. The move left commodities companies that are part of Nasdaq’s clearing house, and the exchange itself, to plug a 114 million euro ($133 million) hole in a contingency fund.

After the default, which was triggered by strong fluctuations in regional power market spreads, Nasdaq said it had organized an auction to sell the portfolio.

The exchange said it had invited four clearing participants to join in the auction but declined to identify them.

“We confirm that it was a one-firm winner. Who the participants were we still can’t comment on,” Nasdaq told Reuters.

Finland’s Fortum, Norway’s Statkraft and Germany’s Uniper confirmed to Reuters that they took part in the auction but were outbid.

Asked by Reuters on Tuesday whether Vattenfall was among the firms Nasdaq had asked to participate in the auction, the company’s chief executive, Magnus Hall, said: “We were asked ... Yes.”

He declined to confirm that the company had bought the portfolio. Vattenfall has said it never comments on its trading decisions.

But with Fortum, Uniper and Statkraft having failed to win the portfolio, Vattenfall is the only possible successful bidder.

($1 = 8.3829 Norwegian crowns)

Editing by Nina Chestney and Dale Hudson

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