BHP Billiton is set to become the latest mining company to chop down its dividend later today, as it seeks to hold onto its A-grade credit rating.
The dividend could drop by up to 75 per cent as the commodity rout continues to lay waste to profits in the sector.
The company is expected to post an 80 per cent drop in profits to $1.19bn (£826m), following a $7bn write-down of its US assets.
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note to clients: “BHP Billiton will give us another glimpse at the horror show that is the global mining sector. Expectations are for a substantial dividend cut.”
FTSE 100 rivals Anglo-American, Rio Tinto, and Glencore have all been forced to give up their dividends over recent weeks as a slowdown in emerging markets bites.
A dividend cut would be a first for BHP since it was formed in 2001.