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Why I cut ‘severe’ dividend slasher Shell

Merchants (MRCH) fund manager Simon Gergel has cut the investment trust’s stake in Shell (RDSB) by a third in response to the oil company’s historic move to slash its dividend last month.

The Anglo-Dutch company cut its quarterly dividend by two thirds from 47 to 16 US cents at the end of April, as the coronavirus crisis precipitated the first such move since the second world war.

Shell’s decision shocked income fund managers two days after rival BP (BP) had chosen to maintain its own dividend. However, Gergel reiterated his view that the company’s changing plans were as much of a challenge to the investment case as the loss of income.


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