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Tue 3 Aug 2010 12:39 PM

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Kuwait raising BP stake depends on market conditions

'We will see what projects are offered, what are the terms and conditions offered'.

Kuwait raising BP stake depends on market conditions
KUWAIT PETROLEUM: State-run Kuwait Petroleum International may be interested in buying some of BPs assets. (Getty Images)

Kuwait is satisfied with its stake in BP  and may increase its holding if market conditions are favourable, the Persian Gulf nation’s oil minister said.

“We already have a stake there,” Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday. “If Kuwait investment authorities see that there are more attractive opportunities, I am sure they will take them depending on the situation in the market.”

Europe’s largest oil producer by volume plans to dispose of as much as $30 billion in assets in the next 18 months to raise cash to meet the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP said it has $16 billion of unused credit lines and plans to cut its debt to as little as $10 billion over the same period.

BP fell 0.5 percent to 411.1 pence at 9:47 a.m. in London.

Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, said on Monday it didn’t receive any request from BP to increase its stake in the company, which is currently 1.75 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The wealth fund was commenting on a report in Al-Anba newspaper that BP’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward asked the fund to raise its holding to 3 percent to protect the company against any takeover attempts.

Kuwait may consider buying BP assets, the minister said.

“We will see what projects are offered, what are the terms and conditions offered for foreign investors,” he said.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner, said July 30 BP rejected an offer by the Chinese company to buy some assets. Abu Dhabi, home to one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, was considering an investment in BP, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said last month. (Bloomberg)

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