Dividend predicted for BP

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The Independent Online

BP is expected to reinstate a dividend payment to shareholders this week as the oil and gas giant marks its recovery from the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

The dividend was withdrawn after last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion as the US government pressured the company into building up a compensation fund. Until then, BP accounted for £1 in every £7 paid out in dividends to FTSE 100 pension funds.

BP said it would suspend payment for the first three-quarters of its financial year. This leaves the group free to bring back a dividend in the full year results on Tuesday.

That same day, online grocer Ocado also reports its annual figures. Shares have rallied over the past week with rumours that Morrisons or another supermarket is planning a bid. Analysts played down the speculation on Friday, but shares still rose 1.9 per cent to close theweek at 220.2p. Forecasters predicted Ocado would report a pre-tax loss of £9.71m in its maiden results.