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Reuters: Shell says nothing ruled in/out on share buybacks


Reuters, 04.19.04, 6:31 AM ET


LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch/Shell Chairman Jeroen van der Veer said on Monday that it would rule nothing in or out on the future of share buybacks by the company.


Shell's peers in the oil sector all have buyback programmes, as high oil and gas prices leave them with more cash than they need to run the business. Shell, under fire after a reserves downgrade this year, does not have one, and is under pressure from investors to start a programme.


"Nothing is ruled in or ruled out," he said. "We will consider the question of buybacks in the context of capital discipline and balance sheet management. I would like to leave it at that for today."


In past pronouncements, van der Veer and his predecessors in management, who were sacked earlier this year over the reserves problems, have said buybacks would take a back seat behind investment and dividends.


Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service



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