Mining giant BHP looks set to surrender its place in the FTSE 100 index after boss Mike Henry unveiled plans to scrap the London and Sydney dual listing that’s existed since the company’s Billiton merger in 2001.
In a dramatic set of annual results, Henry is also combining BHP’s oil and gas assets with Australia’s Woodside and investing $5.7 billion in a Canadian potash project as BHP looks to focus its assets around global “mega-trends”.
The overhaul came as Melbourne-based BHP declared a final dividend of $2 a share, leading to a record return of $15.2 billion for shareholders across the financial year.
Profits from its operations jumped 80% to $25.9 billion, with strong volumes in Australian iron ore enabling BHP to take full advantage of the economic recovery. Today’s update sent BHP shares soaring 8% or 184.5p to 2,465p in the FTSE 100 index.
However, the company admitted that it plans for unification — under which its primary listing will be on the Australian Stock Exchange alongside a standard listing in London — did not currently qualify it for inclusion in the FTSE UK index Series.
A simplified corporate structure and unified share register will make it easier for BHP to separate the oil and gas business in the merger with Woodside next year.