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(ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK/REUTERS)

Financial Times

BP tries a little accounting sleight-of-hand with buyback

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Hooray. BP announces an $8-billion (U.S.) buyback and its share price rises 2 per cent. The logic behind the cheer works something like this. BP has swapped half of TNK-BP for a fifth of Rosneft and $12-billion. That cuts earnings a bit. The U.K. oil major has also sold $38-billion of other assets over the past few years.