July 5 (Reuters) – OPEC member Kuwait may buy some of BP’s (BP.L) Middle East and Asian assets, a Kuwait newspaper said on Monday, as part of the British oil company’s attempt to raise funds and fend off takeover bids.
Arabic language daily al-Jarida, citing oil sources, said state-run Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co (KUFPEC) is reviewing investing in oil fields in Egypt, Yemen and east Asia due to BP’s need for liquidity.
Kuwait, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, is not in direct talks with the British firm, the newspaper said.
An official at KUFPEC denied the report when contacted by Reuters on Monday.
On Sunday, media reports said BP is seeking a strategic investor to secure its independence in the face of any takeover attempts as it struggles with a devastating oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. [ID:nLDE66307N]
Britain’s Sunday Times said the company’s advisers were trying to drum up interest among rival oil groups and sovereign wealth fundsto take a stake of between five and 10 percent in the company at a cost of up to 6 billion pounds ($9.1 billion).
The Guardian said BP was holding talks with the Kuwait Investment Office, the London-based arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority, about raising its 1.75 percent stake in the oil company to potentially as much as 10 percent.
Abu Dhabi newspaper The National also reported on potential support for BP via strategic investments by Middle East financial institutions. [ID:nLDE66307N]
(Reporting by Eman Goma; Editing by Andrew Callus)