BP shares soar on speculation of Middle Eastern interest
BP shares soared in London Tuesday amid growing speculation about Middle Eastern interest in the embattled oil giant and reports that the British government is drawing up contingency plans for a possible collapse or break-up of the company, DPA reported.
British media quoted a top Libyan oil industry executive as saying that he would recommend that the country's sovereign wealth fund should buy a stake in BP.
"BP is interesting now, with the price lower by half and I still have trust in BP," Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Company, is quoted as saying.
"I think BP shares are good value for bargain hunters," he added.
Tuesday's reports follow days of speculation about potential investors in BP, including the Kuwaiti Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
Meanwhile, China's PetroChina, Exxon Mobil, the US oil giant, and Royal Dutch Shell are being touted as chief candidates for a possible takeover bid.
BP, while declining to comment on the reports, has said it "always welcomes" new investors. However, the company insists that it will recover from the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with liabilities now estimated at 70 billion dollars.
BP said this week that costs relating to the spill have exceeded 3 billion dollars.
Its share price rose by 17.5 per cent to 347 pence on the London stock market Tuesday. However, BP's value has more than halved since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform on April 20.