Pay day looms for BHP board

BHP Billiton heavyweights featured on the directors' trades front this week with most of the management team picking up freebie scrip and smartly selling on the market.

BHP Billiton heavyweights featured on the directors' trades front this week with most of the management team picking up freebie scrip and smartly selling on the market.

Nine members of the BHP fat cattery sold about $16 million of paper with the new chief Andrew Mackenzie getting a swag of freebie shares, exercising about $521,000 of options and selling shares on the London Stock Exchange.

He sold to meet expected tax obligations and to pay for the options' exercise.

His filing noted that for the first time BHP's remuneration committee had elected to reduce by 35 per cent the vesting of performance shares for all long-term incentive plan participants.

The committee took into account various factors including the total remuneration of plan participants in the current economic environment.

As a result, 114,044 of Mackenzie's performance shares lapsed.

Various other new boy management staffers sold and said they'd done so to meet tax obligations, or that the sales were made to partially meet expected tax obligations.

Not everyone was a seller: non-executive directors Carolyn Hewson and Lindsay Maxsted topped the buyers' table when they bought shares a day or two after the release of the group's results.

BHP's non-executive directors have agreed to spend at least 25 per cent of their directors' fees on scrip until a stake equal to one year's fees is reached.

Another outfit with that sort of policy is Telstra, and in recent days Nora Scheinkestel and vocal green Geoffrey Cousins have bought shares.

Meanwhile, the head pizza boy at Domino's Pizza sold shares at $13.03 a share.

Donald Meij has previously sold at $6.28 a share and $8.02 a share.

There was multi-director buying in Coffey International, Oceania Capital, BlueScope Steel and CuDeco.

The overall scorecard registered $1.6 million to $48.5 million in favour of sellers.

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