Robert Tchenguiz is believed to have sold his entire 3% holding in Whitbread, the hotels-to-coffee shops leisure group.

Tchenguiz, who last week unwound stakes in Mitchells & Butlers, the pub operator, and J Sainsbury, the supermarket group resulting in losses totalling up to £1bn, is thought to have broken even from the sale of the £50m holding in Whitbread.

A significant part of the investments were held via contracts for difference through Kaupthing, the collapsed Icelandic bank.

CFDs are a financial instrument that allows investors to gain economic interest in a share at a fraction of the cost of buying the stock directly.

After the Icelandic government nationalised Kaupthing last week, the bank was forced to unwind many of its positions in an effort to raise cash and boost its liquidity.

Sunday Times