Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between RDSA and RDSB


Royal Dutch Shell is a company that is associated with oil and gas. It has global operations with its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands and has a registered office in London, United Kingdom. As a company, it is often referred to simply as Shell. In the present, it is the second largest energy company in the world and fifth largest company overall. As a gas and oil company, its activities include exploration of gas and oil reservations, production, refining, and distribution of oil around the globe. It is also a company that dabbles in petrochemicals, power generation, and trading. With the current trend of renewable energy in response to climate change, the company has been involved in biofuels, hydrogen, solar and wind power.

As a business, the company is registered in the stock market as RDSA and RDSB. These are the classifications of shares wherein each share is a share of the company. Both shares have identical rights but have different characteristics. For example, RDSA is associated with the original Royal Dutch Shell Company. It is Dutch listed and complies with the Dutch tax system. For people who have these kinds of shares, there is a Dutch withholding tax on the shares divided on the rate of 15-25 per cent. This is in accordance with the Divide Access Mechanism that the company imposes on its company shares.
Also, the default currency to pay the dividends is in Euros, the currency adopted by the Dutch government.

Both RDSA and RDSB shares are traded in three stock exchange centers – London, Amsterdam, and New York.

The RDSA shares also have control of the 57 per cent of the company. The shareholders do not have voting power in the company, but they receive the assets before the other shareholders of RDSB in case of a bankruptcy.

On the other hand, the shareholders of RDSB are associated with Shell Transport and Trading, the company’s shipping arm which is based in London, United Kingdom. Since Shell Transport and Trading is a company in itself, thus it is listed as a United Kingdom company and has shareholders of its own. As a British company, it is under the tax system of the United Kingdom. With respect to the Divide Access Mechanism of the company, these shares don’t have withholding tax since these shares are U.K.-sourced dividends. The company should prove to the Dutch tax inspectors that these shares are sourced directly from U.K. income.

RDSB controls the remaining 43 per cent of the company’s total shares and pays in pound sterling (the U.K.’s currency) when it comes to pay dividends. Also, shareholders of RDSB have voting power in the company but cannot receive assets until the RDSA shareholders get their share of the assets in a bankruptcy scenario.


1.RDSA and RDSB shares differ in the location where they are listed – RDSA is formerly of the original Royal Dutch Shell Company of the Netherlands while RDSB is previously associated with Shell Transport and Trading, a U.K.-based company and a subdivision of Royal Dutch Shell.
2.At the present, the RSDA has a higher percentage of the company with 575 while RDSB controls only 43 per cent.
3.RDSA is listed in the Netherlands with a withholding tax on dividends of 15-25 per cent while RDSB is a U.K.-sourced dividend under the company’s Divide Access Mechanism.
4.The default currency to pay dividends for RSDA is the Euro (the Dutch currency) while the pound sterling (the U.K.’s currency) is for the RDSB.
5.RDSA shareholders have no vote but have immediate access to assets in case of a company bankruptcy while RDSB shareholders have voting power but have to wait for their assets in the same scenario.

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1 Comment

  1. Awfully interesting piece of writing

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