Shares in Sainsbury’s dropped 2.5p today following speculation that the Qatari Investment Authority had sold part of its stake in the retail giant.

The QIA announced that its holding in the company had dropped from 27% to 26.1%, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It was not clear whether the QIA, which in 2007 launched a takeover bid for the company, had sold some of its stake or if it had been diluted after Sainsbury’s placed £242m of new shares with investors in June.

At the time of the June placing, the QIA did not comment on whether it had taken part in the share issue. The sovereign wealth fund would have had to contribute a significant amount of capital to avoid dilution.

Shares in the retailer were at 310p this morning.