The mining majors are pumping cash, but huge capital expenditures increasingly compete with investor demand for bigger dividends, and stock buybacks.
Media reports in the UK have it that individual institutional shareholders are “campaigning” for BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest diversified resources group, and Rio Tinto, the No 3 by market value (Vale is No 2), to return cash to shareholders, mainly by way of stock buybacks.