Feb. 8 - Shares in PSA Peugeot Citroen rose almost 5 percent after the French budget minister said it would consider taking a stake in the struggling automaker following a 4.1 billion euro writedown. Ciara Sutton reports.
4.1 billion euros is today's daily digit in Europe - the value of a writedown by PSA Peugeot Citreon. The massive charge was a non-cash one and does not affect the group's liquidity or solvency. But it did lead to suggestions of state intervention. The French Budget Minister said the government would consider taking a stake in the struggling car maker. "It's possible," said Jerome Cahuzac, "This company must not and cannot disappear and we must do what it takes for this company to survive." Peugeot has been hit hard by Europe's ongoing sales slump. It's cutting 8,000 jobs and closing a factory to stem monthly losses of almost 200m euros. It said the writedown would not affect its 3 billion-euro net-debt forecast for the end of 2012. And speculation about state support and the writedown being non-cash helped its shares - they gained almost five percent in early trade.