National Grid is considering setting up overseas subsidiaries to guard against the threat of nationalisation under a Labour government. The FTSE 100 business, which owns and runs the major electricity and gas networks, has been fiercely critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to nationalise them – possibly below market value – warning that it risks scaring off investors. Bosses are taking legal advice on how to protect shareholders. Options include setting up divisions in Singapore, Hong Kong or India, which have treaties with the UK to ensure investors are paid properly in any state asset-grab. Pension and insurance giants have already shifted stakes in water utilities such as Yorkshire and Anglian to Hong Kong. The efforts are likely to widen the gulf with Labour, which is targeting power networks, Royal Mail and rail and water companies for nationalisation. It argues that customers are being “ripped off” and plans to compensate investors with gilts.
Times 28th July 2019 read more »