Friday, June 11, 2010

BP plans to suspend shareholder dividend amid oil spill

BP is expected to announce next week that it will suspend its shareholder dividend, the BBC has learned.No announcement is expected to be made until after talks between BP and US President Barack Obama on Wednesday. BBC business editor Robert Peston says that BP directors are to meet on Monday to discuss the payments.BP has been under intense pressure from the US government, which wants BP to use the money to pay for the Gulf of Mexico clean-up.Meanwhile, BP's shares closed up 7.2%, recovering losses suffered on Thursday."In practice, Monday's discussion at newly instituted weekly meetings of the board will be about when to suspend the payments, how long to suspend the payments, and what to do with the billions of dollars that would be saved and not paid to shareholders," our business editor says.
Dividend options Pensions expert and former government adviser Ros Altmann told the BBC that if the company did cut its dividend it would be "a blow", but should not be taken "out of proportion".
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