Germany may bail out Uniper amid gas crisis

STORY: German energy firm Uniper is in talks about a government bailout as supplies of gas from Russia dwindle.

An economy ministry spokesperson confirmed discussions with the utility.

It’s among the biggest customers for Russian energy giant Gazprom, which Uniper says is delivering less than half the gas it promised.

The falling supply from Russia has forced many energy firms to make expensive purchases elsewhere.

But they’re limited in passing on the higher costs by price caps, leading many to go bust.

Uniper says it’s now discussing state guarantees, extra credit facilities - or even whether Berlin should take a direct stake.

It’s had to ditch its financial forecasts and issue a profit warning as a result of the crisis.

On Thursday (June 30) shares in the firm were down around 16% by early afternoon.

Shares in Finnish parent company Fortum also slid.

Berlin may now feel compelled to do something.

Ministers fear unrest if price hikes or energy shortages hit millions of consumers.

Other governments are already taking action.

Spain has approved a bailout package, the Czech Republic is in talks over aid, and Hungary has new rules allowing the government to supervise energy firms.