By Sami Zaptia.
London, 25 September 2016:
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) held its first unified meeting attended by the Interim Steering Committee and the leadership of all LIA subsidiaries in Tunis today.
Ali Hassan Mahmoud, the Faiez Serraj/GNA-appointed Chairman of the Interim Steering Committee of the LIA, today ‘‘hosted the first truly integrated and fully attended’’ meeting of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund since July 2014, the LIA reported today.
Welcoming executive management from the LIA’s two offices 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 companies across four continents, Mahmoud conveyed his commitment to protecting and preserving all assets under his authority.
Speaking at the meeting, Mahmoud 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 Libyan law to preserve and protect the value of these investments”, he added.
The LIA reported that the vast majority of the LIA’s assets are located overseas and that 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.
The unified meeting in Tunis made possible by GNA statute 115 appointing Mahmoud 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, reported the LIA.
Mahmoud 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 protection and preserving, and where we can, growing the value of assets under our stewardship’’.
At the end of what the LIA described as ‘‘a successful meeting’’ and before hosting a short event attended by representatives from the embassies of the international community, the EU and the UN, Mahmoud added that “The Libyan Political Agreement signed in Sakhirat 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 trails of Goldman Sachs and Société Générale S.A.”
Mahmoud thanked the international community for its support in protecting and preserving Libya’s sovereign wealth for all Libyans.
“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.”, concluded the GNA appointed Interim Steering Committee Chairman.