France Releases $2bn Frozen Libyan Assets

As it looks to secure investment from Libya, France says it is ready to start releasing almost $2 billion in frozen assets belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Libya's sovereign wealth fund.

Speaking to Libya's General National Congress (GNC), France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: "France is committed through me to immediately begin unfreezing the funds of the Libyan Investment Authority estimated at $1.865 billion."

The speech did not refer to the other outstanding funds, but Fabius' predecessor, former foreign minister Alain Juppe, pledged to help Libyan authorities recoup all their frozen assets.

During the visit to Libya, Fabius, who was accompanied by France's Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, was due to discuss Libya's reconstruction and the sovereign wealth fund's interest in taking over the Petroplus refinery in Normandy.

Last week a court in Rome had also ordered the release of the fund's stakes in Italian bank UniCredit and defence group Finmeccanica.

(Source: Al Bawaba)

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