NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BP ( BP) is seeking support from sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia to defend itself from any takeover bids, a report says. BP executives have held talks with a number of sovereign wealth funds including Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar and Singapore, a source told Reuters. "BP is seeking a strategic partner so it doesn't get taken over by other major oil companies such as Exxon ( XOM) and Total ( TOT)," the source said. "It's BP that is approaching the sovereign wealth funds not the other way round. They are the ones in need of a partner." The Government of Singapore Investment Corp. already owns around a 0.7% stake in BP valued at $122 million, according to data from Thomson Reuters. BP declined to comment for Reuters on speculation it was planning to issue an equity stake. "We're always happy to welcome new shareholders or existing shareholders who wish to increase their holdings but there's no plans to issue new equity to anyone," a BP spokesman told Reuters. One banking source familiar with the matter said talks were still preliminary and that BP had yet to offer blocks of shares to the sovereign wealth funds. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York. Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site, Stockpickr.com.