BP Plc followed its Big Oil peers by increasing dividends and share buybacks as higher crude prices boosted profit. The oil majors — with the notable exception of Exxon Mobil Corp. — are raising returns as they express confidence that the worst of the slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over. Their goal is to woo investors who are becoming increasingly wary about the future of the fossil fuels in a changing climate. BP will increase its dividend by 4% to 5.46 cents a share and buy back $1.4 billion of stock in the third quarter, said Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney. “What you’re seeing around the dividend is really a story of confidence,” Looney said in a Bloomberg television interview on Tuesday. […]

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