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Energitilsynet politianmelder to energiselskaber for mistanke om markedsmanipulation

Energitilsynet har overgivet sagerne til politimæssig efterforskning på baggrund af en konkret mistanke om, at to markedsaktører har indgået i transaktioner, så prisen på et eller flere engrosenergiprodukter har ligget på et kunstigt niveau. Energitilsynet vurderer, at aktørernes konkrete handelsaktivitet udgør en overtrædelse af forbuddet mod markedsmanipulation.

Den politianmeldte handelsaktivitet er foregået på det nordiske intraday-marked for elektricitet, Elbas, hvor markedsaktører handler strøm helt frem til en time inden levering. Der er efter Energitilsynets vurdering tale om en handelsaktivitet, hvorefter markedsaktørerne har hamstret al tilgængelig kapacitet på transmissionsforbindelserne ved at handle med sig selv, også kaldet capacity hoarding, hvilket bl.a. har haft konsekvenser for konkurrencen på markedet.

Energitilsynet vurderer helt konkret, at de to selskaber har overtrådt forbuddet mod markedsmanipulation i artikel 5 i Europa-Parlamentets og Rådets forordning nr. 1227/2011 om integritet og gennemsigtighed på engrosenergimarkederne (REMIT). Energitilsynet har derfor overgivet sagerne til Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet (SØIK), der er den relevante politimyndighed på området.

Energitilsynets overdragelse af de to sager indebærer, at Energitilsynet ikke kan oplyse yderligere om de to sager, før politiet har afsluttet sin efterforskning.

Vejledning om capacity hoarding

Energitilsynets politianmeldelser falder sammen med, at Agenturet for Samarbejde mellem Energireguleringsmyndigheder (ACER) den 22. marts 2018 har offentliggjort en vejledende note, en såkaldt Guidance Note, der definerer capacity hoarding som erhvervelse af hele eller en del af den tilgængelige transmissionskapacitet uden at bruge den eller uden at bruge den effektivt.

ACERs vejledende noter behandler udvalgte typer af handelsadfærd, der kan udgøre markedsmanipulation i strid med REMIT. Noterne er dels et redskab i undersøgelsen af aktivitet under mistanke for at være markedsmanipulerende, dels en vejledning til markedet om, hvad der potentielt kan udgøre ulovlig adfærd. Energitilsynet har bidraget aktivt til at sætte et europæisk fokus på capacity hoarding og forventer, at den netop offentliggjorte note om capacity hoarding kan bidrage til en europæisk indsats, der skal forebygge markedsmanipulerende adfærd på et område, hvor der endnu er meget begrænset (rets)praksis i EU.

Som en del af denne indsats og på anmodning fra bl.a. Energitilsynet har den nordiske elbørs, Nord Pool, pr. 20. februar 2018 indført en mekanisme, der sikrer, at handler der gennemføres inden for samme selskab, markeres på handelsplatformen. Det betyder, at markedsaktørerne nu kan skelne mellem interne og øvrige handler.

Fakta

Læs ACERs Guidance Note om capacity hoarding her: ACER_GN

Læs mere om REMIT her

The Danish Energy Regulatory Authority reports two Danish energy companies to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime

The Danish Energy Regulatory Authority (DERA) has handed over two cases to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime in order for them to initiate criminal proceedings against the two companies for breaching rules in place to foster open and fair competition on wholesale energy markets for the benefit of final consumers of energy.

DERAs investigation into the behaviour of both market participants support a reasonable suspicion that both companies have engaged in market manipulation by securing the price of one or several wholesale energy products at an artificial level. DERA considers the specific behaviour of both companies to constitute of market manipulation. Engaging in market manipulation is prohibited according to Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency (REMIT).

Both cases relate to the behaviour of so called capacity hoarding on the Nordic intraday market, Elbas. Acting as a balancing market to support the day-ahead market, Elbas provides market participants with a place to further refine physical positions before final balancing measures are taken by the transmission system operators. In DERAs opinion, the market participants have acquired all available transmission capacity by trading with themselves. This behaviour can have a detrimental impact on market competition.

On the basis of further investigations into the behaviour of the companies, DERA has concluded that there is reasonable suspicion that the two companies have breached the prohibition of market manipulation in Article 5 of REMIT. DERA has consequently handed over the two cases to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime which is the competent authority.

Due to DERAs transfer of the two cases, DERA is unable to provide further information on the cases before the police have completed their investigations.

Guidance Note on capacity hoarding

The transferral of the two cases coincides with the publication of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators’ (ACER) Guidance Note on capacity hoarding on 22 March 2018. In this Guidance Note, capacity hoarding refers to the act of a market participant acquiring all or a part of the available transmission capacity without using it or without using it effectively.

The Guidance Note seeks to provide more in-depth information on the behaviour of capacity hoarding. By providing greater clarity through Guidance Notes, ACER aims to share its insights on the general framework assessment to be used by regulators in determining whether specific types of behaviour could constitute a breach of REMIT.

DERA has actively contributed to draw attention to the detrimental behaviour of capacity hoarding and expects that the Guidance Note will be a contributing part of the European effort to prevent market manipulation in an area of law with very limited precedent in the EU.

As part of this effort and at the request of, inter alia, DERA, the Nordic electricity exchange, Nord Pool, on 20 February 2018 introduced a mechanism that ensures that transactions performed within the same company are marked on the trading platform. This means that market participants are able to differentiate these trades from other trades on the platform.

To read ACERs Guidance Note on capacity hoarding: ACER_GN

To read more on REMIT at DERAs webpage (in Danish): REMIT 

 

 

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