LIA Claws Back Sovereign Assets

Libya Herald reports that, almost one year after the fall of Tripoli, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Libya's sovereign-wealth fund, is still working to recover assets frozen during the revolution.

The LIA is now also said to be investigating losses that have come to light, including $1.95bn related to investments made with Goldman Sachs and Société Générale in 2007 and 2008.

Mohsen Derregia, a former professor at UK's Nottingham University, was appointed as Chairman of the LIA in April, and has been in Italy in June fighting the seizure by Italian financial police of $1.39bn of Libyan assets on the grounds they belonged to Gaddafi's family.

These assets include small stakes in UniCredit Bank, Fiat, Juventus Football Club and oil and gas giant Eni.

Derregia has told reporters that LIA assets had fallen "by less than feared" and now stood at between $50bn and $60bn.

At the beginning of 2011, LAP Green Networks, a subsidiary of LIA, held stakes in nine telecoms operators across sub-Saharan Africa, including Chad's Sotel Tchad, Oricel in Côte d'Ivoire and Gemtel Telecom in South Sudan.

Some African governments have taken advantage of the uncertainty to take control.

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