BP share price: Group vows to return more cash to shareholders

on Feb 5, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, February 5: (LON:BP) has vowed to return more cash to shareholders and deepen its ties with Russia’s Rosneft OAO (MCX:ROSN), Reuters has reported. BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley yesterday noted that the company was pleased with its investment in the Kremlin-backed oil major.

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BP’s boss has also addressed the issue of Scottish independence by telling the BBC that there are ‘big uncertainties’ for the oil major if Scots vote ‘yes’ in September.
BP’s share price has edged about 0.1 percent higher in London trading so far today.
**Returning cash to shareholders**
Reuters yesterday quoted BP’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary as telling reporters that the company “should look to return cash back to our shareholder base and we’ll do that through both buybacks and progressive dividends”.

In October, BP announced a $10 billion (£6.2 billion) assets sale, with plans to hand most of the proceeds to shareholders, mainly in the form of share buybacks.
Yesterday’s vow for cash returns to shareholders came with BP posting a drop in underlying fourth-quarter and full-year profit noting that its performance had been hit by weak refining margins, divestments and higher depreciation and exploration write-offs with new projects coming online. (BP share price: Profit hit by divestments and weak refining margins)

**Rosneft contribution**
BP’s profits however were slightly better than expected by analysts partly on account of strong contributions from the company’s stake in Rosneft which brought in $1.1 billion in underlying net income for the fourth quarter. BP’s share of Rosneft oil and gas production in the quarter was 985 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Reuters quoted Bob Dudley as saying that the company was pleased with its Rosneft investment having folded its Russian business into the company in exchange for a 19.75 percent stake.
“We will likely at some point I think set up some joint ventures with Rosneft onshore (in Russia),” Dudley said. He however added that it was unlikely that BP would partner with the Russian energy giant in the Arctic with the best acreage having already been snapped up.

**Bob Dudley weighs in on Scottish independence**

Bob Dudley yesterday warned that there were ‘big uncertainties’ for the company over the possibility of Scotland becoming independent.
While pointing out that his views were personal and not official company policy, Dudley told the BBC that the ‘question mark’ over which currency Scotland might adopt in the case of a ‘yes’ vote was ‘a concern’.
“My personal view is that Great Britain is great and it ought to stay together,” he added.
The Times noted today that Dudley’s comments mark the first time a senior industry executive has publicly opposed the break-up of the UK. Last month, Perth-based SSE Plc (LON:SSE) said in its interim management statement that while it did not have a view on whether Scotland should remain part of the UK, the uncertainty related to any constitutional change represented ‘increased legislative and regulatory risk’.
The BBC yesterday quoted Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond as commenting that Dudley was ‘entitled to his personal opinion’ and that many other chief executives were firmly in favour of independence. Salmond however added that he would ‘continue to cooperate’ with BP.
**As of 10:12 UTC, buy BP shares at 474.65p.**
**As of 10:12 UTC, sell BP shares at 474.40p.**

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