BHP Faces Music on Shale Spurring Belief Dividend Is NextBy and
Impairment to reduce value of unit to about $16 billion
Producer spent $20 billion in 2011 to acquire U.S energy plays
BHP Billiton Ltd. said it expects to take a writedown of $4.9 billion on the value of its U.S. shale assets due to the tumble in oil prices. Its next safeguard against the commodities collapse may be to abandon its decade-old pledge to maintain or raise its dividend. The stock slumped to the lowest in 10 years in London.
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