Iranian property tycoon Ardeshir Naghshineh has raised his stake in troubled retailer Woolworths, sparking fresh speculation that he could mount a bid for the business.

Naghshineh increased his stake in Woolworths to 10.2 per cent, the second time this week he has raised his holding.

His intentions for Woolworths remain unclear, although he has a history of carrying out small property deals through Targetfollow, his Norfolk-based commercial property group.

Woolworths shares rose 9 per cent to 6.5 p yesterday on the back of Naghshineh’s move.