Qatari investors have upped their stake in Total SA (TOT) to 4.8%, said news website Wansquare. According to the news website, investors from the Gulf state have increased their participation in the past year and notably in recent weeks.
The increased stake follows an initial participation of around 2% which Qatar's sovereign wealth fund accumulated in the oil major over several months in the run-up to spring last year.
With a 4.8% stake, Qatar is one of Total 's largest individual shareholders, behind Belgian billionaire Albert Frere and his family, who controlled 5.4% of Total at the end of 2012, and the company's workers who collectively owned 4.4%.
Total and Qatari officials weren't immediately available for comment.
Qatar's growing ties with Total were recently underscored when Qatar Petroleum agreed to take a 15% stake in the French company's oil and gas exploration project in Congo last month.
State-owned Qatari funds have made their presence felt in France in the past couple of years, buying into a number of the country's flagship firms. Last year, investors from the gas-rich state acquired around 10% of media company Lagardere SCA (MMB.FR) and over 5% of construction giant Vinci SA (DG.FR).
Dow Jones Newswires