Iain Conn bought 100,000 shares for £1.73 apiece today in a bid to boost investor confidence in Britain's largest domestic energy supplier.
The shares have seen a steady trickle of devaluation in recent weeks, following Theresa May's renewed vow to bring in a price cap on household energy bills last week. Yesterday was no exception, as Centrica's share price closed down 0.97 per cent.
“We find the profit impact [of the price cap] on suppliers is likely severe,” said Investec analyst Roshan Patel, as the brokerage moved its recommendation for Centrica from “hold” to “sell” last month.
May's promise to cap bills, which was originally introduced in the run-up to the last General Election, has already wiped millions off the market value of the “big six” energy providers.
The government has promised to provide further clarity by publishing a draft bill on its proposals this Thursday. In theory, this should allow the energy market regulator Ofgem to introduce a price cap without the utility companies kicking up too much fuss.
Some investors think that Centrica will have to cut its dividend, although Conn has sought to assure them that the company would look to other cost-cutting measures first.