Summary: The immediate issues for BHP Billiton’s Perth AGM this week are the Samarco disaster in Brazil, a further steep fall in commodity prices and suggestions of an increase in debt to service the progressive dividend policy. Older shareholders will remember a series of hugely expensive and failed investments in the past, asking whether the current problems have been caused by the fall in commodity prices or by poor management decisions.
Key take-out: The issue closest to BHP shareholders is the dividend, with everyone keen to hear if it can continue to remain progressive across the commodity price cycle.
Key beneficiaries: General investors. Category: Mining stocks.