The shipping world can only speculate as to the reason John Fredriksen has reduced his stake in takeover target Euronav.

The Fredriksen group has not commented on the sale of 2m shares that cut the stake in the Belgian tanker owner by 1% to 17.78% this week.

The disposals occurred at around the same time as the Saverys family built their holding to 1% short of the 25% needed to block a full legal merger between Euronav and Fredriksen’s Frontline.