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EnBW, Centrica stocks saw double-digit gains in November

Of the select European utilities and power producers, nine companies posted positive returns on their stocks in November, with German utility EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG recording the biggest gain of 31.2% during the month, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In November, EnBW posted improved results for the first nine months of 2019, with adjusted EBITDA rising 7.4% year over year to €1.69 billion. Meanwhile, the first round of proposals for the potential purchase of a 45% stake in German utility MVV Energie AG, being offered by EnBW and RheinEnergie AG, also took place during the month.

British utility Centrica PLC saw its total return rise 10.6% during the month, as the company won a legal challenge against the U.K.'s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets around the calculations behind the retail price cap implemented by the energy regulator at the start of this year, and started a sale process to divest its 69% stake North Sea oil and gas producer Spirit Energy Ltd.

Danish offshore wind developer Ørsted A/S reversed course and posted a total of return of 6.4% in the month, compared to a negative return of 7.7% in October. This came as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to raising the country's 2030 offshore wind development target by 10 GW to 40 GW if his Conservative party gets to govern after the general election on Dec. 12. In early November, Ørsted also closed the sale of NT$12 billion of green senior bonds to help fund its investments in Taiwan's offshore wind sector.

Other select utilities with positive returns in November included E.ON SE, Uniper SE, Electricité de France SA, SSE PLC, Endesa SA and National Grid PLC.

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France's Engie SA, on the other hand, posted the largest negative return of 4.2% within the group for November. This came as organic operating income in the networks segment, Engie's largest business, dropped 9% year over year to €1.6 billion in the first nine months of this year. The renewables segment is also expected to be down by low to mid-single digits for the full year. However, better availability of nuclear reactors cushioned the blow from other units, as Engie reported a rise in total operating income to €3.8 billion during the nine-month period, from €3.5 billion in the corresponding 2018 period.

Spain's Iberdrola SA, a major offshore wind player, saw its total return decline by 3% during the month, amid media reports that Spanish billionaire Florentino Perez was reportedly joining a case involving alleged corporate spying by the company, and that Siemens AG was mulling over the option to acquire Iberdrola's 8% interest in Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, possibly taking its stake in the wind turbine manufacturer to 67%. Siemens could take over the company entirely next year.

Shares of Suez SA, VERBUND AG and Fortum Oyj also posted negative returns during the month, among others.