By John Lee.
The Chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in Tripoli has said hit out at a recent press release from Ali Hassan Mahmoud, the purported Chairman of the Administrative Committee (Steering Committee) of the LIA, saying it "is full of inconsistencies and a major failure to adhere to best-practice reporting of financial results."
In a statement received by Libya Business News, AbdulMagid Breish (pictured) said that the claimed return of certain investments of US$219 million and interest earned on certain deposits of US$112 million were unclear:
"It does not even identify what were these investments. For example, was it from the equity portfolio or from hedge funds or private equity, or from subsidiaries. Also, there is no indication whether the accounts have been audited or not."
He added that it is a great shame that people who lack the sophistication of financial reporting make such remarks on behalf of what is the sovereign fund for Libya’s future generations.
"I as the Chairman of LIA state that the accounts of LIA for 2016 were not audited due to the political situation in the country and the non-availability the full team of our external accountants," Mr. Breish indicated.
"I am also proud to state that for 2017 we have already received a repayment of US$ 1 billion from Societe Generale under an out of court confidential settlement agreement. This was the result of hard work during the past 3 years of my team and LIA’s external legal advisors," the LIA Chairman added.
He indicated that the LIA is also pursuing other international litigations in conjunction with Libya’s Attorney General, saying that he hopes those procedures will return some if not most of the corrupt investments made by LIA’s previous management between 2007-2011.
Breish also challenged Mahmoud's authority in the matter, saying:
"I'm not sure in what capacity is Mr. Mahmoud speaking as he has been recently deemed on 2.1.2017 by the Tripoli Administrative Court to have no legal status under LIA's Law13, which governs the structure and corporate management of LIA. The Court ruled that his claim to the chairmanship and his appointment by the Presidential Council & GNA through its resolution No. 115 of August 2016 was deemed illegal and was frozen by the court."
He said that two weeks ago, the Presidential Council and GNA’s appeal to reverse the Tripoli Court ruling on resolution No. 115 was also rejected by the Supreme Court, adding that this indicates that the Law has spoken and stated that the Presidential Council & GNA has no legal status to interfere in the decisions or appointments concerning LIA.
(Source: LIA Tripoli)