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Posts on ‘July 4th, 2004’

Shell shareholders fail to put foot down over vital reforms

THE BUSINESS: Shell shareholders fail to put foot down over vital reforms

“any sense Oxburgh hoped to give of the smooth functioning of the two-board system was undermined by the two chairman’s differing answers on when the company’s non-executive directors had known about the reserves problems.”

IT TURNED out to be an anti-climax. After predictions of investigator revolts at Shell’s twin annual meetings, directors got a smoother ride than expected. But the problems remain, especially Shell’s dual structure.

The company provided few concessions to shareholders – no more details on the circumstances behind the reserves downgrade and no proposals from the review of corporate governance that institutional investors have been demanding as the price for the scandal.

There were embarrassments at the meetings, of course. At The Hague, nearly 40% of Royal Dutch shareholders voted against a resolution of confidence in the directors. In London, nearly 10% voted against the company’s remuneration policy in protest at disgraced former chairman Sir Philip Watts’ £1.06m (E1.59m, $1.82m) payoff. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

THE BUSINESS: CASE BUILDS AGAINST SHELL

THE BUSINESS: CASE BUILDS AGAINST SHELL

“Shell’s embattled former and present management may have less than a month before new allegations are released.”

By Richard Orange

Sunday 4 July 2004

The leading class-action lawsuit against Royal Dutch/Shell, expected to be one of the largest ever, has ground back into action after more than two months’ delay. Shell’s embattled former and present management may have less than a month before new allegations are released.

Judge John Bissel, who is adjudicating the case for the District Court of New Jersey, last week sent the prosecuting lawyer, New York’s Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz, his formal opinion and order on the case, giving the firm 30 days to submit its allegations. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

BP reserves the right to go its own way in the wake of the scandal at Royal Dutch/Shell

Sunday Telegraph: BP reserves the right to go its own way: in the wake of the scandal at Royal Dutch/Shell

(Filed: 04/07/2004)

Browne is critical of the SEC’s confused diktats on reporting proven reserves, writes Sylvia Pfeifer

Lord Browne is not a man easily provoked but the chief executive of BP, the oil giant, has made it clear that he won’t shy away from confrontation with America’s powerful stock market regulator over its reporting of reserves at Ormen Lange, a giant Norwegian gas field.

BP’s share of the field is worth the equivalent of some 200m barrels of oil – a fraction of the oil group’s 18.4bn barrels of total proven reserves. But coming in the wake of the scandal at Royal Dutch/Shell, which overbooked its reserves by more than 20 per cent, the Norwegian field has gained a significance beyond its size. Ormen Lange is at the heart of an increasingly complex argument over the interpretation of a quarter-century-old law governing the reporting of oil and gas reserves to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which has confounded not just BP but the entire industry. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

News Leader.com Shell admits overstating its profits

News Leader.com Shell admits overstating its profits

“also made errors in the way it accounted for exploration costs, certain gas contracts and earnings per share of its parent companies”

By Brad Foss

Associated Press

Published July 4, 2004

Washington — The Royal/Dutch Shell Group said Friday that the overestatement of its proven oil and gas reserves and “inappropriate” accounting in other business segments resulted in profits being exaggerated by $432 million.

The revision followed an embarrassing series of disclosures that in total reduced the company’s reported reserves by nearly one-quarter and led to the departure of several top executives.

The biggest downward revision was for 2002, when faulty accounting resulted in profits being overstated by $208 million. In 2001 the reduction was $56 million, in 2000 it was $122 million and prior to 2000 it was $46 million. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

The Observer: British firms escape abuse lawsuits

The Observer: British firms escape abuse lawsuits

“One of the allegations that is still likely to get a hearing is a high-profile case against Shell that claims that the oil giant colluded in Nigeria’s brutal oppression of Ogoni villagers”

Conal Walsh

Sunday July 4, 2004

Barclays, BP and other British companies facing allegations of human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa are set to avoid legal action following a US Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling, delivered last week, curtails the scope of the Alien Tort Claims Act, an 18th-century US law under which companies can be sued in the American courts for human rights breaches committed anywhere in the world.

Lawyers believe that most of the apartheid claims will now be dismissed because the abuses they allege – including exploiting black labour and lending money to South Africa’s government in the 1970s and 1980s – will no longer be judged serious enough to trigger the act. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

The Observer: Counting the wrong beans

The Observer: Counting the wrong beans

‘At some stage something happened to Shell’s values that made it acceptable to put up figures that weren’t completely above board,’

Accountants are blind to the assets that really matter, says Simon Caulkin

Sunday July 4, 2004

The accountancy profession is in denial, betraying its past and endangering the present. Five years after the dotcom bubble, three years after the collapse of Enron and the evaporation of Arthur Andersen – then one of the globally pre-eminent audit firms – the business world is no nearer any reliable means of valuing the intangible assets that are critical to the way things are made.

In fact, says Clive Holtham, professor of information management at Cass Business School in London, the situation is worse than five years ago. ‘The issue of measurement and reporting of intangibles is not only being ignored, there are active efforts afoot to play down its significance by the accountancy profession,’ he claims. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

The Observer: Bad publicity – not goodbye, but good buy

The Observer: Bad publicity – not goodbye, but good buy

“Shell illustrates how a steady barrage of negative publicity can bring a company to its knees”: “The company’s reputation is now in tatters”: “We list the latest batch of leaders and laggards in the corporate publicity league in the accompanying table. These rankings are based upon news reports in the last three months. The current ’10 worst’ list is led by Shell.

Firms stuck in PR hell today may prove to be best value for the brave investor tomorrow, says stock market historian David Schwartz

Sunday July 4, 2004

Corporate newsflashes typically have a fleeting effect on a company’s reputation and share price. But some reports are positioned so prominently and run for such an extended period that they can have a major impact upon a company’s standing and the value of its stock.

Shell illustrates how a steady barrage of negative publicity can bring a company to its knees. Until recently, the company was considered a core holding in most institutional portfolios. Professional and private investors alike ranked it trustworthy and well managed. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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