Dr Ali Hassan Mahmoud, the President of the GNA-appointed Steering Committee of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), hosted on Sunday what was described as "the first truly integrated and fully attended meeting of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund ... since July 2014".
Welcoming executive management from the LIA’s two office in Tripoli and Malta and receiving presentations from the Board of Directors of the LIA’s five subsidiary companies that are responsible for its investments in over 550 company across four continent, Dr Ali conveyed his commitment to protect and preserve all assets under his authority.
Speaking before the meeting Dr Ali said:
“Every Libyan has a stake in the LIA and every Libyan cares deeply that his or her investment must be well managed and carefully, sustainably and above all efficiently invested for our prosperous future. Governance is key and we are charged by the Government of National Accord and the Libyan law to preserve and protect the value of these investments”.
The vast majority of the LIA’s assets are located overseas. Likewise many of the regulatory systems under which the LIA assets are domiciled are outside Libya and regulated by international banking and financial codes of best practice and governance which commentators have suggested is good news for Libyans.
According to a statement, this unified meeting made possible by GNA statute 115 appointing Dr Ali and the Steering Committee, and the fact that it is fully attended by all executive and non-executive board members of the subsidiaries, is viewed as a turning point for the LIA. Dr Ali (pictured) explained to colleagues during the meeting:
“The EU regulation, accountability standards and governance that is offered by the Malta platform for the LIA is vital to our credibility with banks, investment partners and those companies in which the LIA invests. Likewise in Libya, the fact that the Tripoli offices are now back in the control of the LIA as is the case with the accounts registered with the Central Bank of Libya is encouraging for all Libyans.
Embedded as we are within the new governance structures of Libya we will keep our head and hearts above the political fray and focus on our jobs of protecting, preserving and, where we can, growing the value of assets under our stewardship."
At the end of the successful meeting and before hosting a short event attended by representatives from the embassies of the international community, the EU and the UN, Dr Ali added:
“The Libyan Political Agreement signed in Sakhairat on 17 December 2015 has been recognised both locally and internationally as the way forward for Libya. The international community reaffirmed UN Resolution 2259 acknowledging the GNA's exclusive power to govern Libya and to exercise oversight over national institutions including the LIA.
"The Presidential Council of Libya appointed the Interim Steering Committee for the LIA, which I head, to safeguard Libya’s assets and to make sure that the LIA is well represented in international courts especially in the trials of Goldman Sachs and Société Générale S.A.”
“I wanted to take a very brief opportunity today to personally thank the representatives of a number of EU countries, the USA and banks and regulators across the globe for their continued support. I am delighted to say that the LIA is unified. We came here today and we leave as one LIA with a common goal.
"I also sought to show our guests how our adherence to legal process, good governance and commercial best practice is best serving the Libyan people.”
(Source: LIA Steering Cmte)