Remuneração de Capital das Distribuidoras de Energia Elétrica: Uma Análise Comparativa
The relevance of the rate of return given by the regulatory agency and the recognitionthat, in the long run, the private investor has to recover an opportunity cost of capitalincluding the country, regulatory and project-specific risks, are crucial and presentissues in discussions over the best practices in economy of regulation.This paper analyzes the electricity distribution segment in Brazil from 1998 toJune 2005, trying to assess whether the return on capital invested was in line with therisk and opportunity cost required in the segment.It concludes that the return on capital in this segment in Brazil wassystematically negative until 2003. Only in 2005 did the distribution segment reallybegin to recover, presenting profitability partly consistent with the estimated cost ofcapital. Comparisons with Argentine, Chilean and American companies reveal thatfirms in the latter two countries, particularly in Chile, generally managed to rewardshareholders according to the opportunity cost of capital.Among the groups with greater return to profitability after the rationing episodein Brazil in 2002 are EDP Brasil, CPFL Energia, Neoenergia and starting in 2004,Elektro and companies still in government hands. The EDF Group performed theworst in the study period, with negative returns from 1999 onward.Since the power distribution segment relies on cash flow to pay for much of thecapital expenditures needed to expand the system, regulation has to be concernedwith allowing distributors to obtain a consistent return on capital, established in therate adjustment mechanisms, also considering the segment?s effective opportunitycost. The correct remuneration of capital, particularly in price-cap regulatory models,is a crucial aspect in the attraction and economic feasibility of new investments.
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