Gulf Bankers Target Libya

Bankers from the Arabian Gulf are checking out projects in Libya, from health care to infrastructure, according to a report from The National.

Tarek Al Husseini, who secured a licence to expand the Tripoli operations of the Bahrain-based Mubasher to include asset management, advisory for initial public offerings and private equity, told the newspaper:

"We're primarily focused on private equity, infrastructure funds and PPP [public-private partnership] arrangements in several sectors including real estate, retail and health care."

The company had already operated a small unit with four staff at its branch in Tripoli since 2009, but was forced to halt operations after the February 2011 uprising. Husseini now aims to grow the business from a share-trading company to a fully-fledged investment bank.

Meanwhile, Ziad Makkawi (pictured), the chairman of Blue Gate Capital Partners, a Dubai-based private equity investment firm focused on Libya and Iraq, said:

"Libya, from a macro perspective, can be comparable to the UAE. You have massive reserves, with many still to be explored, and at the same time there's a relatively small population ...

"We are very positive on Libya, despite the fact that it is in the middle of transition from post revolution."

There are 10 companies listed on the Libya stock exchange valued, at $3.1 billion (Dh11.38bn), Ahmed Karoud, the general manager of the exchange, told The National last year.

(Source: The National)

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