First A Savior, Now a Suspect

Kuwait raises its BP stake

Only a few months ago, the British government turned to Kuwait as a savior. Under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's grand privatization plan, the government had been ready last October to sell its 32% stake in British Petroleum to the public. Then stock markets around the world crashed. Since the BP shares had been priced far above their postcollapse market value, it seemed certain that few investors would buy them. Enter the Kuwait Investment Office, the London-based agency of Kuwait's Finance Ministry that handles the bulk of the Arab country's overseas holdings. Beginning in early November, the Kuwaitis started to buy BP...

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