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Daily Telegraph: Shell can be sure of strife

Daily Telegraph: Shell can be sure of strife

By Nina Montagu-Smith (Filed: 28/06/2004)

Oil giant Shell is preparing for a rough ride from shareholders at today’s annual meeting, at which institutional investor Isis plans to ask for greater clarification about its plans to improve corporate governance.

Although concern over such issues has been to the fore since Shell’s announcement in March that it had overstated its proven oil reserves by 20pc, shareholders are also upset about environmental issues and a £1m payoff for chairman Sir Philip Watts, who resigned in March.

Shell announced then that it would review its methods of corporate governance and report back to shareholders in November. It is expected to provide an update today.

Richard Singleton, Isis fund manager, said: “I am going to listen to what the board has to say about the progress of its corporate governance review but I felt the company’s announcement was sparser than it might have been.”

It emerged this weekend that “green” investment funds managed by Morley Asset Management and Investec Henderson Crossthwaite have sold shares in Shell because of concerns they have about environmental issues relating to the oil corporation’s activities in Africa, the United States and on an island off the Russian coast.

A spokesman for the oil group yesterday said: “We are in dialogue with shareholders and welcome comment from them.”

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