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Under-fire BP chief in Abu Dhabi
Hayward may be seeking financial support, say reports.
July 7, 2010 2:21 by Samuel Potter
Under-fire BP chief Tony Hayward is in Abu Dhabi, reports Bloomberg.
It is thought he may be seeking support from Middle East sovereign wealth funds after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster wiped at least 50 percent from the company’s share price.
“The option for chasing strategic investors in the Middle East is a sound one,” Saud Masud, the Dubai-based head of Middle East research at UBS AG, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “They are generally passive investors, so the noise factor from a shareholder perspective is pretty low. They have significant capital; then they also invest for the long-term.”
Hayward told Bloomberg he was in Abu Dhabi for a visit and would stay for a couple of days; apparently he has been touring countries in which BP has operations. Last week he was in Russia, and before yesterday he stopped in Azerbaijan.
News reports say that sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East are interested in buying BP stock. They “have invested in the European and western markets in large cap names, and when you can pick up BP at 50 percent cheaper than its recent highs, then it makes a lot of sense for both parties,” Masud at UBS said.