Shell share price: Group offloads business in New Zealand

Disposal consistent with Anglo-Dutch oil major’s divestment strategy

Shell share price: Group offloads business in New Zealand

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) has inked a deal to offload its interests in New Zealand, the blue-chip company has said. The move comes with the Anglo-Dutch oil major continuing with its efforts to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of its acquisition of BG Group.

Shell’s share price has climbed marginally higher in London this morning, having gained 0.39 percent to 2,201.50p as of 08:47 GMT. The stock is marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.23 percent higher at 7,156.35 points. The group’s shares have added nearly four percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.7-percent dip in the Footsie.

Shell sells NZ assets

Shell announced in a statement last night that it had reached an agreement to sell its shares in its New Zealand entities, to OMV, for $578 million. The move follows a two-year strategic review of the company’s assets in the country, with the oil major noting that it was also consistent with its strategy of divesting $30 billion of assets by the end of the current year.

“Today’s announcement is another step towards reshaping and simplifying our company, deepening Shell’s financial resilience and competitiveness,” the group’s Integrated Gas & New Energies Director Maarten Wetselaar said in the statement.

Shell meanwhile is thought to be working with private equity giant Blackstone on a joint bid for BHP Billiton’s (LON:BLT) onshore US shale assets.

Analysts on oil major

Credit Suisse reiterated its ‘outperform’ stance on Shell last week, valuing the shares at 2,725p, while JPMorgan Chase & Co remains ‘overweight’ on the group, with a price target of 2,950p on the stock. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Dutch oil major currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 2,636.36p.

As of 09:03 GMT, Friday, 16 March, Royal Dutch Shell Plc 'A' share price is 2,201.50p.

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