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Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 10:46 UK

BP dividend payments 'still unclear'

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President Barack Obama has summoned BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to a meeting over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, after the US government signalled that the oil giant would have to meet all costs associated with the spill.

James Bevan, chief investment officer at investment and property fund manager CCLA, says it is still unclear as to whether BP would delay paying out dividends.

Talking to Today presenter Justin Webb, Mr Bevan explained that there is "still considerable uncertainty in terms of the immediate costs BP faces".

"The punishment that the US will meat out in terms of fines" and "further restrictions there may be for activity within the Gulf region" would all influence the decision, he explained.

Mr Bevan added that BP was making better than expected progress on the relief wells which could prevent the deferring of dividends.

Business editor Robert Peston, who has been speaking to senior BP officials, believes that the company will delay dividend payments.

BP "needs a truce" with the US government, he urged.

He added that while BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been under "enormous pressure", questions were being raised over chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg's response to the crisis.


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