Abu Dhabi mulls investing in BP: report

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan is mulling investing in besieged British oil major BP, Bloomberg today reported.

"We are still thinking about it," he was quoted as saying when asked about buying a stake in the firm.

Last week BP's embattled chief executive Tony Hayward had met with Zayed al-Nahyan to try and convince him that BP was open to his country's sovereign wealth funds (SWF) taking a 10-per cent stake in the company. (See: BP eyes Middle East money to block potential takeover) 

Abu Dhabi has two SWFs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which has assets estimated worth $627 billion and Mubadala, with around $13 billion in assets.

BP is looking at Middle East SWFs to take a stake in the company, in a bid to strengthen its defences against a potential hostile takeover.

Standard Charted Bank, which has wide operations in Asia, said last month in a note that Petro China would be the ideal bidder for BP, while JP Morgan Cazenove analyst Fred Lucas had published a note last week outlining a possible scenario where US oil major ExxonMobil could takeover BP.

Over the weekend The Sunday Times reported citing oil industry sources that ExxonMobil has been given a green light by the US government to "take a look" at BP with a view to acquiring it. (See: ExxonMobil considering a $100-billion gamble on BP?)