Shell to hike shareholder returns after oil price boost

Nikola shareholders reject executive pay proposal

Nikola’s Trevor Milton ‘is no Elon Musk’: Citron’s Andrew Left

Andrew Left on Nikola, Trevor Milton

BERKELEY, California – Shareholders of Nikola Corp have voted against a proposal to approve the compensation paid to its "named executive officers," including $159.2 million to founder and former executive chairman Trevor R. Milton, the electric truck maker said on Tuesday.

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The decision, although non-binding, illustrates shareholders' discontent about Nikola, once a high-flying company whose shares tanked over 80% from its peak partly due to ongoing probes by regulators and prosecutors.

The compensation, which includes salary, bonus and stock awards, was proposed to a total of six people, including chief executive officer and president Mark Russell with $159.2 million and Britton Worthen, chief legal officer with $79.6 million. The shareholders' meeting took place on June 30.

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Nikola and some of executives are facing a series of class-action lawsuits, which allege they made false and/or misleading statements regarding Nikola's business plan and prospects.

Sydney Covid-19 lockdown extended for another week as cases rise

  • Stay-home orders, which were scheduled to end Friday, will now end on July 16, NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
  • 27 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 were reported in NSW, up from 18 a day earlier, taking the total infections in the outbreak to more than 350.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state on Wednesday extended a two-week Covid-19 lockdown in state capital Sydney for another week to contain the latest outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant.

The stay-home orders, which were scheduled to end Friday, will now end on July 16, NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Twenty-seven new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 were reported in NSW, up from 18 a day earlier, taking the total infections in the outbreak to more than 350.

George W. Bush turns 75, shoots 74 in golf

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Former President George W. Bush celebrated his 75th birthday on Tuesday by shooting a 74 in a game of golf.  

“Feeling food on my 75th birthday,” Bush 43 wrote in an Instagram post. “And thanks to … Cape Arundel Golf Club for giving me a chance to finally shoot my age – with a stroke to spare.” 

( georgewbush/Instagram)

A scorecard showed the former commander-in-chief scoring between 3 and 5 on each hole of the par 69 course – landing a bogey just once. He beat his rival by three points, according to the scorecard. 

An avid golfer, Bush was named the 2021 recipient of the Ambassador of the Golf Award last October. Cape Arundel Golf Club is located in Kennebunkport, Maine where Bush and his family members hosted the annual 2021 Bush golf classic, which raised funds for Gary’s House, a hospitality home, in Portland. 

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China-U.S. yield spread widens to 4-month high

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Yuan and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The yield spread between Chinese and U.S. sovereign bonds was quoted at its widest since March 3 on Wednesday, as U.S. yields fell following soft service sector data.

The spread between the Chinese and U.S. sovereign 10-year yield was last quoted at 176 basis points, according to Refinitiv data.

Shell to hike shareholder returns after oil price boost

  • Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it will boost its planned shareholder returns beginning in the second quarter.
  • The announcement comes after a sharp rise in oil and gas prices helped it reduce debt.

Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it will boost its planned shareholder returns beginning in the second quarter after a sharp rise in oil and gas prices helped it reduce debt.

In a trading statement ahead of its quarterly results, the Anglo-Dutch company said it would increase distribution to shareholders in the form of share buybacks or dividends in the range of 20% to 30% of cash flow from operations, it said.

The move, which comes earlier than many analysts had expected, was due to "strong operational and financial delivery, combined with an improved macroeconomic outlook."

Shell previously said it would boost returns once its net debt dropped below $65 billion. The company said on Wednesday it would "retire" the target without specifying whether it had hit it.

"In the second quarter, Shell expects to have further reduced its net debt, although the extent of the reduction will be moderated by working capital movements," it said.

Analysts had largely expected Shell to increase distribution towards the end of the year, but a strong rise in oil and natural gas prices in recent months accelerated the timetable.

Shell said it would stick to its spending plans that would remain below $22 billion in 2021.