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EDF Slumps After Nuclear Price Concerns Trigger Stock Downgrade via Bloomberg Businessweek

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power producer, fell the most in five months in Paris trading after Bank of America Corp. cut its rating on the stock on concern earnings from nuclear generation will fall short.

EDF (EDF) fell as much as 5.5 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Nov. 29, and was down 4.8 percent at 17.265 euros as of 4:39 p.m. local time. Trading volumes were more than 60 percent above the three-month daily average.

The French government, which controls Paris-based EDF, is due to set wholesale prices for the company’s atomic power by the end of the year as the utility pushes for higher rates to help finance investments and cover costs. The tariff “could disappoint investors,” Arnaud Joan, an analyst at Bank of America in London, wrote in a report published today.

EDF needs funds to improve safety at its 58 French reactors after the country’s atomic authority tightened rules following the 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan. While the regulator has pushed for an increase of almost 30 percent in tariffs over five years, President Francois Hollande has pledged to contain household energy bills.

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