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Mon 2 Aug 2010 09:45 PM

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Kuwait, BP deny reports of fund raising its stake

Kuwaiti newspaper had reported that outgoing BP CEO had asked for increased stake.

Kuwait, BP deny reports of fund raising its stake
RAISE DENIED: Kuwaits sovereign wealth fund and BP have denied a newspaper report that the oil giant had asked the fund to raise its stake in the company. (Getty Images)

Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund and BP on Monday denied a local newspaper report that the embattled oil giant had asked the fund to raise its stake in the company to 3 percent, to fend off potential takeover bids.

In a statement, KIA said: "The Kuwait Investment Authority did not receive an offer from BP to increase its stake."

In a statement, Sheila Williams, spokeswoman, BP, said: "There is no truth in this story. It's a rumour and speculation."

Kuwaiti newspaper al Anba had quoted an unnamed fund official as saying that BP's outgoing chief executive, Tony Hayward, made the request in a telephone call to the fund which owns 1.75 percent of BP.

Anba reported that Hayward said the move was part of an effort to fend off takeover bids by other international oil companies following BP's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The report said Kuwait, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, had no intention of exiting its investment in BP.

Last month, another Kuwaiti daily reported that Kuwait may buy some of BP's Middle East and Asian assets including oil fields in Egypt and Yemen, as the company seeks to raise billions of dollars to cover costs resulting from its massive US oil spill. (Reuters)

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