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Monday, January 31, 2011

BP dividend row looms as TNK shareholders meet, (BP), (TNBP)

A row over BP's (BP.L) dividend looks likely to overshadow the British company's full-year results as Russian shareholders in its TNK joint venture convene on Monday to consider withholding the $1.8 billion payment. Shareholders in the AAR consortium, which owns the other half of BP's TNK-BP (TNBP.MM) venture, want TNK-BP to remain the prime vehicle of BP's operations in Russia and Ukraine and are seeking a court injunction to halt BP's deal with Rosneft. A source close to the situation told Reuters on Sunday that AAR's board would convene an extraordinary meeting on Monday to consider withholding the payment of TNK-BP's fourth quarter dividend, due in February. The source said the board would consider TNK-BP's uncertain prospects in the light of increased competition from Rosneft and the possible need to enhance international expansion.