Business & Finance

Xcel Energy Inc. anticipates a $2 billion write-down in the third quarter of assets at its troubled subsidiary, NRG Energy, chairman Wayne Brunetti said Sunday. In June, Minneapolis-based Xcel bought back a 26 percent public stake in the wholesale power generator, which is $9 billion in debt and facing possible bankruptcy. Xcel serves 5 million electricity and natural-gas customers in 12 states.

Credit Suisse First Boston was expected to face charges of civil fraud by Massachusetts regulators, reports said, after rejecting demands to separate its banking and stock-analysis divisions. First Boston's general counsel argued that the state's effort may conflict with similar, nationwide reforms sought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, The New York Times reported. First Boston is a subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group of Zurich, Switzerland.

The takeover of TXU, the third-largest supplier of electricity to Britain, by German energy giant E.ON was expected to be announced as the Monitor went to press. Citing sources close to both companies, London's Observer newspaper said E.ON's offer was in the $2 billion range. TXU operates three coal-fired power plants that serve more than 5 million customers.

A too-low share price will delay the further privatization of Air France for "six months to a year," the new government in Paris indicated. A sale that would cut the state's majority stake in the carrier to less than 20 percent was to have been the highest-profile divestment effort yet by the right-leaning government, which was elected in June. But Air France shares, worth almost $20 before the election, closed at $10.23 in last Friday's trading. The government's privatization plan also is expected to include the sale of substantial stakes in the bank Crédit Lyonnais, in electric and gas utilities, deeply indebted France Télécom, and other enterprises.

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