I see two shares which seem to be of the same company:

What exactly is the difference between the two? Is there a difference for the dividend?

1 Answer 1


They are two different classes of shares in the company that arose from the merger of Royal Dutch (a Dutch company) into Shell (a British compnay), and seem to differ primarily in tax treatment on dividends:

Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares have identical rights, except related to the dividend access mechanism, which applies only to the Class B ordinary shares.

Dividends paid on Class A ordinary shares have a Dutch source for tax purposes and are subject to Dutch withholding tax (see note 1 - Taxation). It is the expectation and the intention, although there can be no certainty, that holders of Class B ordinary shares will receive dividends via the dividend access mechanism (see note 2 - Dividend Access Mechanism).

Any dividends paid via the dividend access mechanism will have a UK source for Dutch and UK tax purposes; there will be no UK or Dutch withholding tax on such dividends.

The company website has more detailed information.

  • I believe the main point underlying the two classes of shares is that Shell is "dual-listed" in the UK and the Netherlands. I don't understand the finer detail of the consequences of that though. Jun 3, 2020 at 22:02
  • 1
    Actually it was dual-listed until it was unified in 2005 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Dutch_Shell), but I also do not know the full consequences of that action.
    – D Stanley
    Jun 3, 2020 at 22:09

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