London: A Chinese investment fund has accumulated a stake of just under 1% in British oil company BP PLC, the company confirmed on Tuesday.
BP spokesman David Nicholas said that BP was aware of the stake, which had been built up over a few months. “We are a publicly traded company and we welcome all shareholders,” Nicholas said.
BP declined to name the investor, but The Daily Telegraph reported that it was the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the same Chinese state fund that recently reportedly built up a similar size stake in French oil giant Total SA.
SAFE is an arm of the central bank that manages China’s US$1.68 trillion in currency reserves.
China has amassed the reserves, by far the world’s largest, as the central bank drains money from the economy to reduce pressure for prices to rise as money pours in from booming exports.
Beijing keeps most of its reserves in US Treasury securities and other safe but low-yielding assets. But it launched a US$200 billion investment fund last year using money from the reserves in hopes of earning a higher return.