Britain’s government ordered the Kuwait Investment Office today to slash its 21.68% stake in British Petroleum Co. PLC by more than half.
It said the holding could conflict with the public interest and gave the Kuwaiti concern a year to reduce its stake to no more than 9.9%.
The reduction is likely to result in a huge loss for the London-based investment arm of the Kuwaiti government, which said it is “extremely dissatisfied” with the decision.
The ruling came from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, which had been asked by the government in May to investigate the Kuwait Investment Office’s holding.
The commission said Kuwait’s offer to limit its voting in stockholder matters to a portion of its holding was not a strong enough protection for the British public.