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Fixed Income Impact Investing

Europe's energy crisis tests mettle of utilities sector

gas station

This year’s spike in European energy prices — largely driven by Russia’s war with Ukraine — has fueled higher consumer inflation and cast a broader shadow on a regional economy already bracing for recession. To help alleviate the pain, some governments have intervened by reducing or eliminating value-added taxes from energy bills and providing subsidies to low income consumers. We have yet to see the imposition of explicit caps on gas prices, however. As a result, rising energy costs have continued to flow through to end users, and European utilities companies have generally been able to maintain their balance sheets and profitability.

Some investors fear that could change this winter, as the crisis likely takes a worsening toll on consumers, governments face increased pressure to provide relief and utilities companies may need to shoulder more of the burden of escalating prices. In this brief analysis, we offer our insights on the potential impact of the crisis on Europe’s utilities sector and which industries within the sector may be better positioned to weather the storm.

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Endnotes

This material is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy, sell or hold a security or an investment strategy, and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor’s objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her advisors.

The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass. This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature. Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of market returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Any changes to assumptions that may have been made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the information presented herein by way of example. Past performance does not predict or guarantee future results. Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible.

All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such. For term definitions and index descriptions, please access the glossary on nuveen.com. Please note, it is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Important information on risk

All investments carry a certain degree of risk, including possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. Equity investments are subject to market risk or the risk that stocks will decline in response to such factors as adverse company news or industry developments or a general economic decline. Debt or fixed income securities are subject to market risk, credit risk, interest rate risk, call risk, tax risk, political and economic risk, and income risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices fall. Non-U.S. investments involve risks such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, lack of liquidity and differing legal and accounting standards. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. This report should not be regarded by the recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment. It is important to review your investment objectives, risk tolerance and liquidity needs before choosing an investment style or manager.

Nuveen provides investment advisory solutions through its investment specialists.

This information does not constitute investment research as defined under MiFID.

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