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Shell launches €19bn stock buyback

Royal Dutch Shell plans to buy back $25bn (?19bn) of its own stock as its profit missed expectations. 
The oil giant has given in to investors who have stuck by the oil giant through a downturn in the industry.
Shell had always said it would buy back its own stock once it has paid down its debt accumulated through the $54bn acquisition of BG Group in 2016.It is in the process of selling assets worth $30bn in the wake of the 2014 oil price crash.Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, said: "Today we are taking another important step towards the delivery of our world-class investment case, with the launch of a $25bn share buyback programme."This move complements the progress we have made since the completion of the BG acquisition in 2016."The Anglo-Dutch company posted a 37% rise in underlying earnings on a current cost of supply basis to $10.1bn for the six months to 30 June. Much of the gain was down to rising oil prices.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, has risen to $75 a barrel from around $50 a barrel a year ago.However, Shell's underlying earnings rose 30% to $4.7bn in the second quarter - missing forecasts.Its stock slipped 2% in early trading in London.Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said it was an "impressive update" despite missing City expectations.
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"The old market adage of 'Never sell Shell' is holding firm as the company has unveiled something of a bonanza for shareholders," he said.A buyback typically reduces the number of stocks in circulation pushing up a company's share price.
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