Sainsbury’s shares soared last night on the news that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) increased its stake in the supermarket giant to about 25.3 per cent.

The QIA, which made a 600p a share indicative offer for Sainsbury’s last year, bought 2 million shares on Monday and a further 5 million on Tuesday for an undisclosed sum.

Shares in Sainsbury’s rose 13 1/4p to 328p following the news. The QIA previously owned 25 per cent in the retailer via its investment fund Delta Two.

The QIA is now free to make a new bid for the retailer after being ruled out from the process for six months after the failed takeover bid last November.