Renault shares slide further despite emissions assurances

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:18pm EST
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By Laurence Frost

PARIS (Reuters) - French assurances failed to impress Renault investors on Friday over concerns the carmaker could be drawn into a damaging diesel emissions probe in Volkswagen's wake.

Renault shares fell further even as officials reiterated it had not been caught cheating on engine emissions, a day after raids at three of the carmaker's facilities came to light.

The assurances "alleviate some of our concerns that the use of defeat devices ... affects other automobile companies than Volkswagen," said Yasmina Serghini, Senior Credit Officer at debt rating agency Moody's.

But the French investigation is ongoing, she cautioned in a note, and "other countries such as the UK have similar procedures in place, the results of which are still unknown".

Renault shares, which tumbled 8.9 percent on Thursday, fell a further 3.4 percent to 75.13 euros, outpacing the European auto sector's 3 percent slide amid investor wariness in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal.

Officials reiterated that no "defeat devices" had been found on Renault models tested in a French follow-up investigation, launched after VW admitted using such banned software to cheat on U.S. nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions tests.

The French probe has already found emissions from Renault diesels - and several other unnamed brands - in excess of statutory limits that had been met in European regulatory testing, widely acknowledged to be flawed.

The environment and economy ministers, Segolene Royal and Emmanuel Macron, scrambled on Thursday to deny that Renault had been caught using software cheats - which typically set out to meet pollution limits only during official tests.   Continued...

The logo of French car manufacturer Renault is seen on a totem in front of a dealership in Vendenheim near Strasbourg, France, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler