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Sunday newspaper round-up: Dividends, BP, Capricorn Energy

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 30 Jan 2023

Sunday newspaper round-up: Dividends, BP, Capricorn Energy

(Sharecast News) - Companies' dividend payments jumped by 8% to reach £94.3bn, led by big banks alongside a surge in payouts from oil outfits. share buybacks meanwhile reached 2% of the combined value of UK-listed companies. However, Link Group anticipates that payments will decline by 2.8% in 2023 to reach £91.7bn and believes that the economic backdrop is "decidedly gloomier" than one year ago with higher interest rates set to pressure margins further. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Multiple companies within the FTSE 100 are trading at valuations lower than those of their peers overseas, turning them into attractive bid targets says Michael Stiasny, head of UK equities at M&G Investments. In particular, Stiasny singled out BP. The oil major, in which M&G holds a stake, was trading at a 50% valuation discount versus peer Shell, against just 10% in 2018. - The Sunday Times

Capricorn Energy is under pressure to initiate a strategic review given the increasing likelihood that its takeover by Israel's NewMed Energy will flounder. The oil outfit is due to vote in new board members on Wednesday after its boss and chairwoman recently stepped down. A vote on the proposed takeover had been postponed until 22 February. Activist investor Palliser Capital, one of the shareholders opposed to a sale to NewMed, was one of those calling for a strategic review. - The Sunday Times

National Grid has stood down the coal-fired power stations that had been told to warm up as a precaution due to possible strikes in France. France's grid operator RTE had said it might require help. Drax was also employing its demand flexibility service, by which the company paid some households with smart meters for cutting their energy use. That helps to balance the grid and to avoid use of some of the dirtiest energy sources. - Guardian


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