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Shell's Undervalued London Listing a "Major Issue," Says Ex-Chief

  • Shell's share price reached a record high above 2,860p on Wednesday.
  • Former chief Ben van Beurden called the valuation gap between Shell's London and potential New York listings a "major issue."
  • Van Beurden also defended his successor's decision to dilute Shell's energy transition targets, saying it was necessary to adjust strategies based on reality.
Shell

The Shell share price hit another all-time high this week as the company continued its positive run.

The firm, already the largest by market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange, saw its share price jump to a then all-time high of 2,832p on Tuesday morning, after chief Wael Sawan said the company was “undervalued”.

The rally has continued today. The Shell share price has hit another all-time high above 2,860p. The jump followed additional comments from its former chief Ben van Beurden yesterday at a summit in Switzerland.

Van Beurden, who led Shell between 2014 and 2022, said the company’s valuation gap between its London listing and a potential New York one is a “major issue”.

He added that the US was a more favourable environment for traditional energy companies like Shell, an issue that was “increasingly” becoming a problem for European-domiciled firms.

Van Beurden was also direct in defending his successor’s decision to dilute Shell’s energy transition targets, including dropping a pledge to reduce net carbon intensity by 45 per cent by 2035.

“If you see things that can’t work, you have to adjust your strategies and your targets as well,” he said.

“To just waffle and bullshit that this is all happening while it isn’t would not be correct … I completely understand what he did and I would completely support it.”

Though Sawan has said the firm is looking at all options, it is understood that the group is unlikely to consider any such a major move until this time next year at the earliest, when it is scheduled to finish its current two-year “sprint” period.

To that extent, London is on something of a two-year notice period for the company, which ranked just behind US supermajor Exxon in 2023 earnings for the ‘big four’ oil and gas producers.

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