Credit risk is the Company’s exposure to potential losses arising from counterparties failing to fulfil their obligations. Default or delayed payment of fees may have a negative impact on the financial balance and results of Snam.
For the risk of non-compliance by the counterparty concerning contracts of a commercial nature, the credit management for credit recovery and any disputes are handled by the business units and the centralised Snam departments. Guidelines and methods for quantifying and controlling client riskiness are drawn up at corporate level.
The rules for client access to the services offered are established by the Electricity and Gas Authority and set out in the Network Codes. For each type of service, these documents explain the rules regulating the rights and obligations of the parties involved in providing said services and contain contractual conditions which reduce the risk of non-compliance by the clients. In particular, the Codes require guarantees to be provided to cover in part obligations where the client does not possess a credit rating issued by one of the leading international agencies. The regulations also contain specific clauses which guarantee the neutrality of the entity in charge of balancing, an activity carried out from 1 December 2011 by Snam Rete Gas as the major transportation company. In particular, the balancing gives Snam Rete Gas an obligation to acquire, according to criteria of financial merit, the resources necessary to guarantee the safe and efficient movement of gas from entry points to withdrawal points, in order to maintain a constant balance in the network, procure the necessary storage resources for covering imbalances for individual users and adjust the relevant income statement entries.
Snam provides business services to a small number of operators in the gas sector, the largest of which by revenue is Eni S.p.A. It cannot be ruled out, however, that Snam may incur liabilities and/or losses due to its customers’ failure to honour payment obligations, including as a result of the current economic and financial situation, which makes the collection of receivables more complex and critical.