Centrica's CEO tries to plug share price slide by buying £173,100 worth of stock

Lucy White
British Gas Controversially Increases Its Energy Prices
Centrica's shares still ended today down 0.97 per cent (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica has attempted to reverse the company's tumbling share price, by buying more than £173,000 worth of shares for himself.

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.

Read more: Groups slam Theresa May's energy price cap as Centrica shares tumble following speech overshadowed by prankster, coughing and collapsing set

“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.

Read more: Energy bills are now rising at their fastest in three years

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