Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wells Fargo Offers Electricity Price Hedging, Renewable Energy Credits for Middle Market Companies

...The hedging program - believed to be the first offered by a major U.S. bank to middle market companies - can benefit companies spending at least $1 million annually on electricity and also help them purchase environmental management products, including renewable energy credits, to reduce their carbon footprint and offset greenhouse gas emissions.

“As electricity costs continue their long-term upward trend, managing power costs can often mean the difference between profit and loss for many small and medium-sized companies,” said Anil Suri, managing director in Wells Fargo’s Financial Products Group. “All middle market companies depend on having reliable, affordable power, but many do not have in-house experts or the time to effectively manage electricity market risk. We now offer that increasingly vital service using the same disciplined approach Wells Fargo brings to its customers in other areas of financial risk management every day.” Press Release

I hope it works better for the customers than this example of peddling sophisticated instruments to unsophisticated clients:

Italian Shopkeepers Blame Banks for Derivative Losses

Piera Levo and her husband, who run a 15-employee plumbing supply company in northeastern Italy, bought ``insurance'' against interest rate increases from UniCredit SpA in 2000.

Six years later, they paid 85,000 euros ($117,000) to extricate themselves from a derivative known as an interest-rate swap that is normally sold to large companies and fund managers. Derivatives are contracts whose value is based on that of another security, index or commodity, or linked to events such as changes in interest rates.

``I had no idea what I was getting into,'' Levo said. ``I don't even play slot machines. I would never sit down to play blackjack against Alessandro Profumo,'' chief executive officer of UniCredit, Italy's biggest lender....

From Bloomberg