Ex-BP boss denies investment fund reports

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Former BP Plc <BP.L><BP.N> chief executive Tony Hayward denied on Tuesday he was setting up an investment firm as he left a private meeting in one of the most luxurious hotels in the United Arab Emirates.

"I'm not starting an investment fund, I'm not looking for a job in Abu Dhabi and I'm not living in Abu Dhabi. I'm just here to visit friends," he told Reuters as he walked through the lobby of Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace hotel.

Recent media reports have said Hayward was in the initial stages of launching an energy investment fund.

"I wouldn't believe anything you read in the papers these days," said Hayward, who stepped down from the top job at BP last October following his gaffe-prone handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history.

Hayward declined to comment on his future plans.

Last year, Hayward was spotted in Abu Dhabi as he sought to raise cash to ward off a potential takeover of BP and help pay for the oil spill.

At the time he had set up meetings with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of world's largest sovereign wealth funds.

(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Robert Campbell and Erica Billingham)