Robert Tchenguiz has insisted that he would keep his stakes in J Sainsbury and Mitchells & Butlers, despite sitting on millions of pounds of losses. The Times, Daily Telegraph

The Iranian-born property tycoon dismissed what he called rumour and speculation about his holdings in the two British companies, saying reports that he planned to sell his shares were unfounded and a “disservice to other shareholders”.

Tchenguiz, who is chairman of his R20 investment vehicle, said: “Both companies have significant value in excess of current valuations and both have a strong future.”

The statement from Tchenguiz came a day after the Qatari Investment Authority stunned investors by saying it planned to abandon its £10.6 billion bid for Sainsbury’s because the the price had become too high.

Tchenguiz owns 10% of the British supermarket group, whose shares tumbled more than 20% after the news, knocking about £140 million from R20’s stock.

He did not comment on his intentions at SCi Entertainment, the computer games group where he holds a 15pc stake through another vehicle, Thorson Investments.