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Rio Tinto hit by buyback backlash

Rio Tinto hit by buyback backlash

For the past two years, Rio Tinto (RIO) has set the benchmark for shareholder returns within the mining sector. With capital expenditure pared back, debts paid down and gross profit margins up, the commodities giant has directed ever-growing swathes of cash flow to investors. Juiced by the sale of its coal portfolio, and other disposals including its $3.5bn (£2.7bn) stake in the Grasberg copper mine, Rio declared cash returns of $9.7bn and $13.5bn in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

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