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Washington Times: Shell to abandon priority shares

Washington Times: Shell to abandon priority shares

London, England, Jun. 17 (UPI) — Royal Dutch/Shell announced Thursday its Dutch board had proposed scrapping its controversial priority shares, the Financial Times reported.

A statement said the board intended to make the proposal at its annual general meeting next year.

The priority shares scheme has come under fire from investors because the shares carry extra voting rights.

Shell met another shareholder demand by naming the executives in the steering group conducting a governance review, which was prompted by the mis-stated reserves scandal earlier this year.

The terms of reference for the steering group include a possible simplification of the board and management structures, improvement to decision making processes and accountability and enhancing leadership.

Shell said the results of the review would be made public by the boards in November 2004, “after which a round of further more focused consultation with shareholders will be undertaken”. The entire process would be concluded in the shareholders meeting of 2005 and implemented immediately, it said.

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