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Business News

Business News
Released:  27/06/20122012-06-27
Word count:  1086

All Africa, Tripoli — The devastation left in the wake of the past year's events has seen many unprecedented challenges for Libya's leaders. The causes and effects of conflict on security, leadership, corruption, ethnic divisions and the extractive industries have all been documented in the mainstream press. Much less, however, has been said about the impact on the 'softer' sectors of health, education and social welfare.

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Mina Monir
Pre-revolution health

Prior to last year's events, Libya was often lauded as having the highest Human Development Index (HDI) in Africa. The discovery of oil and natural gas in the late 1950s transformed the country from one of the world's poorest, dependent on foreign aid, into one of the richest in the region. Due to its modest population of approximately 6 million people, Libya was, on a per capita basis - at least on paper - the third richest country in Africa.

Since the discovery of its hydrocarbon wealth, Libya has shown continual progress in health indicators, with its main achievements being near universal coverage in its childhood immunisation programme and its achievement of close to 100% rate of attended births in hospital. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, Libya also leads the way in having the highest number of hospital beds per capita in the region.

All that glitters is not gold...

For all of these achievements, the truth of Libya's healthcare situation requires a closer analysis. Increasing globalisation, education and the realisation of broad public health interventions (such as safe drinking water and sanitation) are the main contributors to the aforementioned achievements. However, while looking at health indicators over the past 10 to 15 years, quite a different picture of the state of Libya's healthcare emerges.

One of the most significant public health issues in Libya is road traffic accidents. This has seen mortality figures double over the past 15 years and is currently the third highest cause of death in Libya, leaving many more with permanent disability.

Furthermore, on closer inspection of hospital bed figures it emerges that a significant number of hospitals have undergone long periods of construction or renovation, some lasting as long as eight or nine years, while others remain incomplete (as is the case in Misrata and Sebha), meaning that many of these beds are not actually in use or are of poor quality.

Whilst all Libyan citizens have enjoyed an all-encompassing healthcare package that was technically free at the point of use, there has been concern about the quality of services provided. This, coupled with a widespread distrust of public facilities, has meant that a multi-million dollar medical tourism industry has emerged in neighbouring countries solely to cater for Libyan patients. Accordingly, the real rate of expenditure on healthcare is likely to be significantly higher than those stated in official government figures of 12% - the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the figure to be closer to 20%.

Emblematic of the poor management and allocation of resources was the procurement by the Libyan Ministry of Health some years ago of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner - a medical research and diagnostic tool used mainly in the field of oncology. The grand opening for the multi-million dollar PET scanner was broadcast on Libyan state television to much fanfare but since that day, the PET scanner has remained locked in a room unused due to a lack of technical expertise to operate the machine.

Prior to the start of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in February 2011, Libya was already struggling to define a clear strategy in the health sector and the events of the Libyan uprising have further confounded these efforts.

Looking for leadership

Libya's new Ministry of Health has sought the help of WHO in order to revitalise the country's "shattered health system" but the country's unstable political climate has made substantive progress difficult and slow.

The revolution took a heavy toll on Libya's people. Although there are no accurate figures for the numbers of people killed, missing or injured, estimates are usually in the tens of thousands. Many patients (either individually on their own expense or through various initiatives under local and national authorities) were sent abroad for treatment. The processes for sending patients abroad were far from transparent and widely abused with many Libyans demanding to be sent abroad for treatments that were not necessarily war-related. In January 2012, Libyan deputy prime minister Mustafa Abushagur estimated that $800 million had been spent on this scheme, of which only 15% was actually used by patients who had war-related injuries.

Many hospital directors and senior government figures have been relieved of their duties to make way for candidates deemed more acceptable to the public in a process similar, though not nearly on the same scale as, the de-ba'athification process which occurred in post-2003 Iraq.

As a result, candidates that lack experience and expertise but are deemed to be more acceptable politically are being propelled into leadership positions. Many of these new candidates have achieved revolutionary legitimacy through their actions during the uprising or have been noted for their opposition to the Gaddafi regime whilst in exile.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health's attempts to articulate their policies have been poor as they do not reference any actual policies, preferring instead to tout immeasurable goals such as the "development of all parts of the health system and development of health administration".

Where do we go now?

A phased approach to rebuilding the capacity of Libya's public health structures will require technical expertise from international bodies such as the WHO. The already parlous state of human resources in Libya's health sector (particularly in the areas of health policy, administration and finance) has been exacerbated by constant changes and reshuffles at the ministerial and senior civil service levels.

There is no silver bullet that will solve the Libyan health system's bureaucratic and management challenges. The best way forward is a holistic, pragmatic and evidence-based approach. To do this, the Ministry of Health first needs to assess the state of Libya's current healthcare system by conducting a comprehensive Coordinated Needs Assessment. This will allow elected policymakers to make strategic medium and long-term evidence based policy decisions.

Impending elections provide a fresh starting point for an administration to begin, not selected due to 'revolutionary legitimacy', but based on their technocratic ability to deliver results in an already beleaguered and struggling sector.

There are many of challenges facing the Libyan healthcare system after such a devastating conflict. However, the current situation represents an unprecedented opportunity to redefine the basis of the entire system. With its strategic location, temperate climate and strong fiscal position, there is no reason why the current trend of medical tourism to Libya's neighbours should not be reversed. And, with the right policies and adequate technical and financial support, Libya should aspire to being a major healthcare destination itself.

Moez Zeiton is Director for Health Research at the Sadeq Institute, a non-profit, non-governmental think tank based in Libya.

[source: All Africa]
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  26/06/20122012-06-26
Word count:  191

The Libyan Minister of Planning Eissa al-Twaijery stated that the Libyan government has discussed the requirementsto establish big projects on Libyan soil.

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Mina Monir
During the cabinet meetings, projects in the sectors of transportation, aviation, train lines, highways and underground subways were discussed to determine the costs and periods of the executing these projects. “The Libyan government is committed to implement contracts worth tens of billions of dollars and it is expected that these projects will be carried on in all corners of Libya with total cost that might reach $18 billion as well as the first stage of underground subway that costs $4 billion” al-Twaijery said in statements given to al-Sharq al-Awsat news agency. “Contracts have been signed with Chinese companies for building railway lines as well as Russian firms, these are under evaluation with respect to the role of Libyan companies in these projects”, he added. Mr. al-Twaijery stated that the sources of funding for these projects will be determined according to available Libyan financial capacities. Al-Tawaijery underscored the will to discuss the Libyan budget in a scientific way that could provide the Libyan infrastructure needs for the coming 15 years. He also indicated that the Libyan transportation projects are prioritised despite their high cost that is believed to reach a scale of billions of dollars.
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Political News

Political News
Released:  26/06/20122012-06-26
Word count:  994

The release by NATO of a list of unexploded munitions from the alliance’s military action in Libya has been both welcomed as a step toward postconflict accountability and criticized as a half-measure that falls short of protecting civilians and specialists trying to rid the country of its hazards.

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Mina Monir
The United Nations said this month that NATO, in an exchange not publicly disclosed, had shared details of 313 possible sites of unexploded ordnance from the alliance’s action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government last year. The alliance provided the latitude and longitude for each site, the weight of the ordnance and a description of the means of delivery (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter gunship or naval vessel).

With the widespread use of sophisticated targeting sensors, with which aircrews record infrared video of the impact of a missile or bomb, air forces have a greater capacity than ever to know exactly where weapons struck and when they have failed to function properly. Such data is routinely gathered as part of what militaries call battle damage assessment. It is used to determine whether a target has been destroyed or should be hit again, and to assess the reliability and effectiveness of various missiles and bombs.

The data also presents options for humanitarian and cleanup efforts. When shared, it can allow for governments and mine-clearing organizations to alert residents of specific risks at specific places, and to focus efforts on removing high-explosive remnants of war. Its existence also suggests an opening for Western militaries to adopt a new standard for responsibility in air campaigns.

For these reasons, the United Nations, which had asked NATO for the data last year, welcomed the list, even though it contained limited information.

“It is helpful, because at least we know where these are,” said Max Dyck, program manager for the United Nations Mine Action Service in Libya. “We’re not waiting for someone to call up and say, ‘Hey, I have this great big dirty something in my garden.’ ”

Without such data, weapons containing volatile explosives and, in some cases, toxic propellants stand to be found randomly or in drawn-out surveys, raising the risk of accidental discovery — and detonation — by rubble-clearance crews, farmers’ plows, children or anyone else.

But the data has also been a source of disappointment and irritation, because NATO provided no information about the types of unexploded weapons, or the fuzes used to arm each missile or bomb.

This information, along with what are known as “render-safe procedures” for each type of weapon, is considered essential by ordnance-clearance teams. It is routinely recorded by modern military forces, via so-called bomb-build sheets, in which each component of a weapon is documented as a weapon is armed and prepared for an aircraft.

Colin King, a former British Army bomb disposal officer and an analyst for IHS Jane’s, said he could see no reason for NATO to withhold ordnance-specific details. “If the damn thing didn’t go off, why wouldn’t you share what it was?” he asked. “People are going to find it anyway. It’s going to be lying on the ground, and it might cost someone their life.”

“It is irresponsible,” Mr. King added. “You are not going to give away much in the way of vital intelligence by saying what it was.”

NATO, which said that it “has contributed to the timely removal of these munitions and therefore to the improvement of security for the Libyan people,” declined to answer why the types of weapons and render-safe procedures were not provided. “We do not comment on technical operational details,” Oana Lungescu, the alliance’s spokeswoman, said by e-mail.

NATO has said that its air campaign over Libya resulted in the release of 7,700 missiles or bombs. Almost all of the suspected duds — 303 — that NATO acknowledged were released from warplanes. Six were from helicopters, and four from warships.

The NATO campaign appears not to have involved potentially harmful radioactivity or cluster munitions, which scatter small bombs or mines that typically have high dud rates and are prone to exploding when disturbed.

In an e-mail late last year, Col. Gregory Julian, a United States Army officer serving as an alliance spokesman, said NATO and its partners had not used cluster or depleted uranium rounds in Libya. He also said NATO had not used free-falling “dumb bombs.” All of its airstrikes in Libya, he said, were made with guided missiles and bombs.

The NATO release was the latest development in what mine-clearance teams describe as a slowly evolving process of Western combatants’ sharing airstrike information with nonmilitary ordnance-disposal technicians.

In the 1990s, the United States released extensive data on its bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War, after years of resisting requests from Mines Advisory Group, a nonprofit ordnance-clearance organization in Britain.

The information, made public decades after American pilots carried out the secret bombing campaign, has since been used in a detailed mapping project, as an advocacy tool, and to help with the cleanup of the remnants of a little-covered military action carried out on a vast scale.

After the Kosovo war ended in 1999, NATO released geographic information on its airstrikes there, though mine-clearers said the value of that release was undermined by the inaccuracy of much of the data. (In that case, Mr. King and Sean Sutton, a spokesman for Mines Advisory Group, said ordnance teams went to many sites NATO had said it struck and found nothing, and found areas that had been hit with cluster munitions that NATO had not disclosed.)

The United States military has also provided nonmilitary ordnance-clearance teams limited information about airstrikes in Iraq.

The data release on Libya contained one new element: This was the first time a military force shared dud-specific locations for a campaign, according to Mr. King. In the past, he said, militaries described locations of airstrikes generally, and they did not differentiate between ordnance known to have exploded and ordnance suspected of having failed.

Mr. Sutton said he hoped that combatants in other conflicts would release similar data, but that more information would be included. “Amongst the mine-action actors, obviously we have no political interest in this,” Mr. Sutton said. “It is simply a matter of how quickly and safely we can do our jobs.”

[Source: New York Times]
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Business News

Business News
Released:  25/06/20122012-06-25
Word count:  192

Libya will hire a local firm to help process financial claims filed by Jordanian hospitals that have treated around 55,000 Libyan patients over the past year, a Libyan official said on Saturday.

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Mina Monir
Following a meeting with Private Hospitals Association President Fawzi Hammouri, Libyan Health Bureau Director Ali Bin Jalil said that a deal would be concluded with a Jordanian medical insurance management company to process all bills, which would be paid when the audit was completed and the money allocated by the Libyan government arrives.

The delay in payment has led to a dispute between the Jordanian providers and Libyan authorities.

Jordanian hospitals and hotels are reportedly owed around $200 million by Tripoli in bills accumulated over months of treating and accommodating tens of thousands of Libyans who arrived in the Kingdom in the aftermath of last year’s revolution that ousted Muammar Qadhafi from power.

The Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Hammouri and Bin Jalil as highlighting the importance of maintaining good relations between the two countries and working on creating an environment for cooperation between Jordanian private hospitals and the Libyan health sector in the long run.

Hammouri stressed the importance of processing the bills as soon as possible so they can be paid within a 30-day deadline after auditing is completed as stipulated in the Libyan-Jordanian Medical Cooperation Protocol.

[source: Al-Bawaba Business]
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  25/06/20122012-06-25

Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa.

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Mina Monir
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Political News

Political News
Released:  25/06/20122012-06-25
Word count:  448

Libyan and Italian authorities are achieving progress in building relations between the two countries on different levels, including in business, legal and financial sectors.

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Mina Monir
For geographical and cultural reasons, Libya and Italy enjoy a distinguished relationship. After Libya’s revolution to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime, Italy cooperated with Libya in the rebuilding process and Tripoli considers itself as a strategic partner with Rome in cross cultural and political issues concerning their two continents. One of the most controversial issues is the illegal emigration from African countries, via the Libyan shores to Italy, which is the southern gate of Europe. Tripoli and Rome are addressing the problem with an agreement known as the Declaration of Tripoli, which concerns the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers is governed according to human rights and legal regulations.

Amnesty International has called on the Italian authorities to reconsider the Tripoli Declaration, but the Italian foreign Minister Guilio Terzi has defended its migration control system. Terzi has insisted that the accords “comply with international conventions” and “are based on respect for human dignity”.

“I believe that the basic point is the Declaration of Tripoli, in which the NTC undertook along with the Italian government to comply with all existing international conventions concerning human rights, the rights of migrants, the conditions regarding human dignity and the dignity of the individual and this is the basic architecture on which all pre-existing accords were based and which will guide future technical stipulations”, the minister added.

Economic relations have witnessed progress in both the financial and business sectors. The Italian business mission that visited Libya to discuss different business opportunities in Tripoli and Benghazi has arrived back in Rome with positive feedback. Dr. Luca Bargilli, the CEO of SIS&I, expressed great satisfaction with the large participation in the meetings at the Ishbelia Hotel. Almost 100 Libyan companies took part and that resulted in the setting up of new commercial initiatives between the two sides.

The main activities, with 25 percent, were related to the constructions sector. 15 per cent of the participants came from the food sector, and another 15 per cent from consultancy. Other participating companies ranged from those active in agriculture, chemistry, furniture, fishing, waste treatment, information technology and medicine. It is expected that the Italian energy companies as well as construction experts will play a vital role in the next stages of the rebuilding process in Libya while Libyan businesses will revive again in the Italian business market. Consequently, the Libyan Investment Authority has also sent a delegation to Italy.

In a further significant step, over a year after the Libyan revolution, the financial branch of Tripoli's government is in Italy for the hearing on July 12 at the Appeals Court in Rome. This case could see the release of 1.1 billion Euros of goods and assets frozen by the magistrates last March.
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News Releases

News Releases Business News

Charles Gurdon, Managing Director, Menas Associates gives his opinion of the political and economical situation in LIbya at the recent City & Financial Conference entitled "Winning Business in Libya: A Practical Guide for UK Companies" on 14 May 2012

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News Releases

News Releases Business News

Dr Ranald Spiers, Managing Director, The Middle East Association gives his opinion of the political and economical situation in LIbya at the recent City & Financial Conference entitled "Winning Business in Libya: A Practical Guide for UK Companies" on 14 May 2012

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News Releases

News Releases Business News

Maryann Maguire, Director of InterCultures gives her opinion of the political and economical situation in LIbya at the recent City & Financial Conference entitled "Winning Business in Libya: A Practical Guide for UK Companies" on 14 May 2012

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Business News

Business News
Released:  23/06/20122012-06-23
Word count:  974

The security situation in Tripoli remains relatively stable, although the risk of a sudden temporary deterioration in certain areas remains. A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi on 18 June, in protest against an art exhibition in Tunis, which they perceive as insulting to Islam. A high profile military prosecutor accused of involvement in the killing of former rebel commander Abdel Fatah Younis was shot dead in...

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Hind Bensari
Projections

Security in Tripoli will remain relatively positive, although there is little prospect of the central authorities being able to deploy a security force capable of mitigating against all threats in the near future. There is an ongoing risk of militia groups seizing vital infrastructure in the city. Although militant attacks have been largely restricted to Benghazi, there is also a risk of similar attacks on the assets of foreign governments and NGOs in Tripoli.

The risk of further attacks in Benghazi will remain, and there is also a risk of confrontation between government security forces and alleged Jihadi militant groups reportedly based near the town of Derna. There is also a risk of demonstrations in Benghazi which may be related to the upcoming elections or the issue of semi-autonomy for the east of the country. These will also carry a risk of sporadic violence.

Campaigning for the upcoming elections will gather pace over the coming weeks, and a clearer picture of who will be the main players may begin to appear. There will be a heightened risk of political demonstrations with the potential for violence throughout the country as the polls approach.

Tripoli

The security situation in Tripoli remains relatively stable, although the risk of a sudden temporary deterioration in certain areas remains. A number of militia groups retain the ability to enter the city at will and seize vital infrastructure, something that has occurred on numerous occasions in the past and which remains a real possibility, particularly in response to perceived unfair treatment by the central authorities.

AKE personnel on the ground have highlighted a growing number of power cuts in the city, likely due to the heat and increasing use of air conditioning during the summer months. This may also increase in frequency during Ramadan, which begins in mid-July.

Benghazi

A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in the city on 18 June, in protest against an art exhibition in Tunis, which they perceive as insulting to Islam. A group of around 20 young men carrying Kalashnikovs reportedly stormed the building and burned the Tunisian flag inside. Security forces deployed en mass to the consulate and regained control of the building from the men, who withdrew without resistance. The incident again demonstrates the ease with which armed groups can enter strategic sites at will.

Juma Obaidi al-Jazawi, a high profile military prosecutor accused of involvement in the killing of former rebel commander Abdel Fatah Younis, was shot dead after leaving a mosque in Benghazi on 21 June. The incident comes after a spate of attacks on foreign NGO and government targets in the city, many of which have been claimed by Islamist militants believed to be based in Derna.

Last week armed jeeps carrying Jihadists entered Benghazi bearing black al-Qaeda flags and gathered in the town centre. They were then confronted by thousands of youths, who were alerted through a Facebook appeal, chanting pro-Libyan and pro-democracy slogans. The men were subsequently forced out of the square by the hostile crowd.

Meanwhile, the headstones on World War Two military graves in the city were desecrated for a second time in four months on 21 June. NTC officials stated that they were unsure who carried out the act of vandalism, although unconfirmed reports indicate that Islamists may have been responsible.

Derna

Unconfirmed reports indicate that clashes took place in Derna this week involving national army forces. Rumours of Jihadi militant cells operating in the city have raised the profile of the town in recent weeks and led to expectations that the NTC would look to conduct military operations there to flush out any hostile elements. There is therefore a risk of further violence in and around the town over the coming weeks and months.

ICC Employee Detention

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz stated on 16 June that he expected the International Criminal Court (ICC) to cooperate with investigations into allegations that an Australian lawyer, identified as Melinda Taylor, smuggled documents to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The UN Security Council, human rights groups, the court in The Hague, and the Australian government have all called for the release of Taylor and her interpreter Helene Assaf, in what has proved to be the country's biggest diplomatic spat since the uprising ousted the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan officials claimed the pair were caught passing messages from outside supporters to Saif during a meeting, and that they were in in possession of "spying and recording equipment”. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr arrived in Libya on 18 June in order to push for the release of all the ICC staff.

Security Companies in Libya

The government announced a new decree (decree248) that will ban foreign security companies from operating in Libya. Any Libyan company found to be trading with a security company will also be banned from operating in the country. It remains unclear how stringently this new decree will be enforced and whether it will apply to those operating in the country in support of the foreign diplomatic presence.

Political Section

Campaigning for Libya's first national election was expected to begin on 18 June ahead of the polls currently scheduled for 7 July. The elections will choose a national assembly that will then be given the task of drafting a new constitution, overseeing the government and scheduling a new round of elections. Candidates come from over 142 political associations, although only 80 seats have been reserved for political parties, with the rest reserved for independents.

AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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Financial News

Financial News
Released:  22/06/20122012-06-22
Word count:  469

(Reuters) - The Libyan sovereign wealth fund is investigating investment losses of $1.75 billion on structured products managed by Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) to see whether it can claim compensation, the fund's chairman said on Wednesday.

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Mina Monir
Mohsen Derregia, chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), told reporters in Milan that the LIA needed to review these investments and how they were managed.

"These were investments made in 2007 to 2008, and some of those losses are quite surprising. We've had losses for around $1.75 billion, of which $900 million was on a single investment with Goldman Sachs," Derregia said.

"We will have to see how these structured products were created, valued and managed. Then we will talk to the investment houses and see if we can claim a refund."

Asked what kind of structured products were involved, Derregia said: "It's not clear to me."

Goldman Sachs declined to comment and Societe Generale could not immediately be reached for comment.

Derregia was appointed head of the LIA in April and is sifting through tens of billions of dollars in holdings and investments made by the fund worldwide during the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, which was overthrown last year.

"To have a clear oversight of everything will take time; it won't be done in one or two months," Derregia said. "Clearly, there will have to be some write-offs, although they are not huge."

The total value of assets managed by the LIA (about $60 billion) had fallen by less than the LIA feared, Derregia added. "It's now midway between $50 billion and $60 billion. People in Libya feared we had lost 50 percent of our assets. It's not like that."

ASSETS SEIZED

Derregia was in Italy to speak to authorities and the financial community about the LIA's holdings in the country, which were seized in March by Italian financial police on the grounds that they belonged to members of the Gaddafi family.

The holdings, worth about 1.1 billion euros ($1.39 billion), include stakes in Italy's largest bank by assets, UniCredit (CRDI.MI), the oil and gas giant Eni (ENI.MI) and carmaker Fiat (FIA.MI).

The LIA has appealed against the seizure, saying that those holdings belong to the LIA, held on behalf of the Libyan government. Derregia and his lawyers said this view was backed by the Italian economy ministry's Committee of Financial Security, which he met on Tuesday.

The next hearing in the case is on July 12.

Derregia said that the LIA would keep its 1.8 percent stake in UniCredit and could buy more shares in the bank if this was in its own interest.

He said it would not make sense to sell down its Italian portfolio now, given current market conditions. "Clearly the value of the shares has declined substantially. There is no incentive for us to sell the shares now or in the foreseeable future."

Asked whether the fund would buy Italian government bonds battered by the euro zone debt crisis, he said: "We hold a lot of assets denominated in euros, and we already have enough bonds."

(Editing by David Goodman)

[Reuters]
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  21/06/20122012-06-21
Word count:  265

The Libyan authorities have taken several economic and legal steps to boost the rebuilding process through boosting the availability of the required resources.

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Mina Monir
The decisions aim to help make available what is required to support the rebuilding process at the financial level, as well as from the perspective of resources such as structure materials. The authorities have declared that a cement plant will be constructed in Sebha, in the south of Libya. The project will cost €116M and cover an area of 600 hectares. The plant will have a capacity of 1 million tonnes of cement per year and will be funded by several promoters, mainly the Libyan Economic Development Fund, and will provide about 390 jobs for young Libyans, according to Pana press. The accelerating rebuilding process also requires firm decisions regarding financial matters in order to assure the funds are available for the rebuilding process. According to Reuters, The Libyan sovereign wealth fund is investigating investment losses of $1.75 billion on structured products managed by Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) to see whether it can claim compensation, the fund's chairman said on Wednesday.

Mohsen Derregia, chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), told reporters in Milan that the LIA needed to review these investments and how they were managed. "These were investments made in 2007 to 2008, and some of those losses are quite surprising. We've had losses for around $1.75 billion, of which $900 million was on a single investment with Goldman Sachs," Derregia told Reuters. The total value of assets managed by the LIA (about $60 billion) had fallen by less than the LIA feared, Derregia added. "It's now midway between $50 billion and $60 billion. People in Libya feared we had lost 50 percent of our assets. It's not like that."
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Business News

Business News
Released:  21/06/20122012-06-21
Word count:  968

Libya is seeking to boost its oil production by a third to 2 million barrels a day by year-end, surpassing last year’s pre-conflict level, Libyan ambassador to Washington Ali Aujali said.

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Mina Monir
How fast Libya returns to pre-war levels or surpasses them “depends also on the oil companies, how fast they are returning” to restart or expand operations, Aujali said, speaking at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington yesterday.

Beyond oil, Libya is eager for American investment in tourism, health care and education, he said. The nation, whose governance is still in flux, plans to hold the first election for the national assembly next month after four decades of rule by dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

“The environment is great” for U.S. companies, in large part because the Obama administration is credited by Libyans with pressing for NATO military action that helped topple Qaddafi last year, Aujali said.

“They appreciate what the Americans did,” he said, and American flags are often flown alongside Libyan ones around the country. Libya’s governor for OPEC, Samir Kamal, set expectations lower than Aujali did, telling reporters last week in Vienna that the government hopes to reach 1.6 million barrels a day by year-end.

Aujali said the North African nation has restored crude oil production to more than 1.5 million barrels a day, or 90 percent of official production figures before Qaddafi was ousted in a violent uprising.

The months-long conflict sent production levels plummeting to 45,000 barrels a day in August, according to a monthly Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts.

Rising Output

Libyan production was restored to 1.45 million to 1.55 million barrels daily by the end of May, according to figures from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Oil Minister Abdul-Rahman Ben Yezza said last week that Libya plans to spend about $10 billion to develop long-term oil and natural gas projects and increase its crude production capacity. He said the country also has a five-year plan to increase production to about 2.2 million barrels a day.

Aujali said “we need more investment” to develop the oil industry and fulfill a longer-term goal of restoring Libya’s crude production capacity to its historical high. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates it exceeded 3 million barrels a day in the 1960s.

Aujali cited ConocoPhillips (COP), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) as among U.S.-based multinational energy giants that have returned to Libya, and urged other U.S. companies to invest in all sectors of Libya’s economy.

American Opportunities

American companies need to “be more involved, to be more aggressive to visit Libya to see where they can make business,” he said, so they don’t lose opportunities to other countries such as Italy, which has been proactive in seeking business prospects.

Aujali cited health care, infrastructure, education and tourism as sectors in which the Libyan government is seeking foreign investment. He said tourism remains one of the least- developed industries, citing Libya’s 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) of beaches and its cultural attractions, including Leptis Magna, one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the Mediterranean, Aujali said Libya is seeking American universities and hospitals interested in assisting with training and technology and setting up branches or partnerships, as many have done in the Persian Gulf and North Africa.

Unfrozen Assets

Libya is looking to the U.S. and NATO countries to help rebuild after a bloody conflict that cost the nation billions of dollars in lost trade and revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The revolution killed 30,000 people and wounded 50,000 others, according to the Libyan government. “You supported this revolution at a critical time,” he said. Still, “the new road is not built,” so the U.S. needs to stay involved to ensure the democratic transition is completed.

The Obama administration has done everything possible to assist Libya’s government, including making available $31 billion in Libyan government assets under U.S. jurisdiction that was frozen as a penalty on Qaddafi’s government, Aujali said.

The only Libyan assets that remain frozen by the U.S. are about $3 billion belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority, the government-managed sovereign wealth fund and holding company based in Tripoli, he said.

The authority needs to be reorganized under a dependable board of directors before “we feel safe” asking for the funds to be released, he said.

Election Plans

Libya has scheduled elections for July 7. Aujali said 145 political parties have formed, with 3,000 candidates vying for 200 legislative posts. About 80 percent of eligible voters have registered, underscoring excitement about the democratic transition, he said. Still, the situation remains volatile, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said in an interview with state-run Qatar News Agency June 17.

Libya risks descending into civil war if the current unstable security situation persists, he was quoted as saying. Aujali said his country has studied other nations’ models for reconciliation and justice following long dictatorships during which many were persecuted. Libya is “not starting from zero. There are many with experience in the history and we learn from them.”

‘No Revenge’

While some members of the old regime are under arrest, “there is no revenge at the time being against the Qaddafi regime,” he said. “Reconciliation is important. But in the first place, justice has to be made.”

Aujali said he expects a speedy resolution of the “misunderstandings” in the case of a team from the International Criminal Court in the Hague that was detained June 7 by Libyan authorities. Libya accused Australian defense lawyer Melinda Taylor of trying to smuggle documents to Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi in a Libyan prison. The Libyan government accuses Qaddafi’s son of directing the killing of thousands during his father’s regime and during the rebellion.

“The Libyan people, they have the right before anybody else to try Saif al-Islam in Libya,” Aujali said of the effort to try him in the international court in the Netherlands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira A.R. Lakshmanan in Washington at ilakshmanan@bloomberg.net [Source: Bloomberg]
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  21/06/20122012-06-21
Word count:  364

(Reuters) - The oil arm of Germany's power giant RWE said on Wednesday it would postpone a start up of its large oil fields in Libya, still awaiting an agreement with local authorities on the structure of the venture.

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Mina Monir
"We are now at the place where we need to build up a joint venture with NOC, all the formalities are in place we are now waiting for NOC to go into registration with us," Christoph Schlichter, senior vice president for North Africa at RWE Dea said on the sidelines of a conference in London.

RWE had initially hoped to start production in 2014-2015 but that date is no longer realistic, said Schlichter.

"They (Libyans) are keen to get new investments on the rise quickly to provide more jobs. But their focus has been ramping up (existing) production," he said referring to a full shut down of Libyan production last year due to a civil war.

The company undertook an exploration campaign in Libya between 2003 and 2010 and made eight discoveries at blocks NC 193 and NC 195. The fields were declared to be commercially viable just prior to the start of the 2011 Libyan conflict, so development plans with NOC could not be finalised.

The discoveries are in the order of 100 million barrels but it is too early to estimate a production rate, added Schlichter.

RWE is the top power producer in Germany and it has been expanding abroad to focus predominantly on Norway, the UK, Egypt, Libya and Algeria, as well as on Denmark and Poland and the Caspian region.

In Algeria, state-owned Sonatrach gave final approval in February this year for a $3 billion development of the North Reggane gas field project.

RWE has a 19.5 percent stake in the project led by Spanish oil and gas company Repsol with Algeria's Sonatrach and Italian utilities company Edison.

The start of production further depends on the timely construction of the GR5 pipeline, which has been delayed several times. The pipeline will connect South West gas fields with Algeria's largest gas field and gas hub, Hassi R' Mel.

"We started field development of Reggane North, together with Sonatrach, Edison and Repsol," said Schlichter, "From what we hear, the (GR5) pipeline should be ready by end 2015. And we will start after, in 2016."

Production is expected to stabilise at 8 million cubic metres a day for the first 12 years Reggane is in operation. (Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by Keiron Henderson) [Reuters]
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Dear Sir, Greetings from Al Manzel International. As a leading company dealing with recruitment of Pakistani staff Al Manzel International Pakistan provides professional manpower to the Construction, Oilfield, hospitality & Power plants industry. One of our main policies is not to charge recruiting fees and air ticket charges from the companies. We can guarantee to provide you with the best screened recruits as we selected through two rounds of per-interview by our company, before the selection by foreign company. As a leading company dealing with recruitment of Pakistani staff we are looking companies in Libyan market and encourage you to contact us, please feel free to contact us Best Regards with Respect, Azam Khan Managing Director Mob: +971-50-7613855 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates U.A.E. Al Manzel International (OEP) Overseas Employment Promoters PAKISTAN Tel: +92-62-2443847 Fax: +92-62-2441847 Mob: +92-342 7380847 (PAK) E mails: azam@almanzelint.com URL: www.almanzelint.com YOU THINK WE MAKE POSSIBLE Anonymous For more news and information visit: http://libyabusiness.tv/video/business-opportunity-teclogistics-inc#!tabi-198 Copyright © Libya Business TV Limited

Anonymous
5 yearss ago

Dear Sir, Greetings from Al Manzel International. As a leading company dealing with recruitment of Pakistani staff Al Manzel International Pakistan provides professional manpower to the Construction, Oilfield, hospitality & Power plants industry. One of our main policies is not to charge recruiting fees and air ticket charges from the companies. We can guarantee to provide you with the best screened recruits as we selected through two rounds of per-interview by our company, before the selection by foreign company. As a leading company dealing with recruitment of Pakistani staff we are looking companies in Libyan market and encourage you to contact us, please feel free to contact us Best Regards with Respect, Azam Khan Managing Director Mob: +971-50-7613855 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates U.A.E. Al Manzel International (OEP) Overseas Employment Promoters PAKISTAN Tel: +92-62-2443847 Fax: +92-62-2441847 Mob: +92-342 7380847 (PAK) E mails: azam@almanzelint.com URL: www.almanzelint.com YOU THINK WE MAKE POSSIBLE

Anonymous
5 yearss ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  20/06/20122012-06-20
Word count:  381

BMI Industry View: Libya near-term growth outlook was given a slight boost in late December following reports that the resumption of oil production was proceeding more quickly than previously expected, and that the United Nations and US and EU governments had decided to lift sanctions against the central bank. Given the faster-than-expected ramp up in oil production in late 2011, we expect to see a strong rebound in growth in Libya's...

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Mina Monir
Headline Industry Data

- Per capita food consumption is forecast to grow by 12.3%. To 2016, per capita food consumption is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 8%.

- Mass grocery retail sales are forecast to increase by 26.6% in 2012. To 2016, compound annual growth of 15.70%.

Key Regional Company Trends Casino and Al Meera Investing In Retail – In February 2012, French retailer Casino signed a joint venture agreement with Qatari retail group Al Meera Holding, with plans to open outlets in North Africa and Jordan. The joint venture, called ALGE Retail, is looking at expansion in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It will be headquartered in Geneva, with Casino owning 49% and Al Meera 51%. Dabur India To Establish New Manufacturing Plants – In February 2012, Fast-moving consumer goods major Dabur India announced it is set to make a INR1bn (US$20.1mn) investment for the establishment of new manufacturing plants in Africa over the next two years in a bid to expand its global footprint.

According to a company official, the fund will be utilised primarily to construct plants in places such as Morocco and Southern and Eastern Africa. The official added that the new plants will support its existing factories in Nigeria and Egypt.

Key Risks to Outlook Political Risks Remain Elevated – The risks to our current consumer outlook and to the wider market for food and beverages are mostly to the downside. Libya's combination of oil wealth, tribal divisions, weakto- non-existent institutions and the prevailing security vacuum portend to significant instability and potential for violent conflict over the coming years. This will translate into a highly risky operating environment, which will continue to detract investment in new and existing capacities for food and beverage production. In the meantime, the economy's growth potential will remain dependent on three key variables: the speed and scale with which oil production can be brought back online; the state of the underlying security environment; and the state of the utilities sector – in particular, the provision of a stable supply of electricity.

Business Monitor International's Libya Food and Drink Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, food and drink associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Libya's food and drink industry.

For more information: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/2147562/libya_food_and_drink_report_q3_2012
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Legal News

Legal News
Released:  20/06/20122012-06-20
Word count:  175

New Delhi: The government on Friday partially lifted the ban on emigration to Libya more than a year after the country was hit by violence and internal strife.

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Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi announced the partial lifting of the emigration ban to Libya. The ban on going to Libya for employment was imposed on February 21, 2011 after violence rocked the country. After an interim government has taken over, the situation has improved. It has been noticed that there is growing demand for manpower in Libya in various sectors, officials in the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry said.

They said there have been repeated requests for sending required manpower from India to Libya. The manpower from other competitive markets like Bangladesh, Egypt, Philippines are arriving in Libya. The decision to lift the ban partially was taken in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Mission in Libya, they said. Ravi said doctors and para-medical staff will be permitted to emigrate to Libya as the Libyan Health Ministry has approached the Indian mission in Tripoli in this regard. Complete lifting of ban will be reviewed after considering the situation immediately after the conclusion of elections in Libya after July 15, Ravi said.

[source: IBN Live]
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  19/06/20122012-06-19
Word count:  484

Germany's Wintershall is currently producing just over 70,000 b/d of oil in Libya, or around 70% of its output level from before the civil war in the North African country, a senior company official said Monday.

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Speaking at a conference in London, Wintershall vice president Klaus Langemann said the company's output was being restricted by infrastructure constraints and that production would rise once a new oil export pipeline in Libya was completed.

"We are at more than 70% of our original production capacity, and we are producing a little beyond 70,000 b/d," Langemann told the conference.

Before the unrest in Libya began in February 2011, Wintershall was producing around 100,000 b/d from its fields in the country.

Langemann said the company's production facilities suffered no damage during the civil war, and that it was able to boost production up to around 50,000 b/d within a week of the end of the war.

He also said that Libya had asked Wintershall to help build a new export pipeline together with the state-owned NOC and Agoco.

"We acted quickly, and the pipeline is now under construction," Langemann said. "It will be finalized early next year."

This will help the company restore its pre-uprising output, Langemann told Platts later on the sidelines of the conference.

"It's just a question of pipeline infrastructure," he said. "The wells could produce more -- indeed our reservoir engineers told us the shut-in had helped the reservoir 'relax', which is a good thing."

EXPLORATION EFFORTS

Langemann also said Wintershall was committed to a long-term future in Libya, although he said the company's exploration efforts would depend on the terms offered for new blocks.

"The terms are tough in Libya," he said, referring to the EPSA IV contract system.

"In the last rounds it was shown that companies over-bid," he said.

Libya has Africa's largest oil reserves, estimated at some 47.1 million barrels, and there is expected to be a concerted effort by international companies to increase exploration with a view to developing the country's resources since the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

Asked whether Wintershall would take part in any future exploration bidding rounds in Libya, Langemann said: "We wouldn't rule it out." For now, though, Langemann said the political framework for expanding Libya's oil sector was not yet in place.

"The decision-making regime is not there at the moment," he said.

Separately, Langemann also said Wintershall was looking at projects in the UAE, specifically bringing in technology to help Abu Dhabi improve its oil recovery rates.

He said Abu Dhabi currently is short on gas as it reinjects large volumes to help oil production.

"Looking at Abu Dhabi, they are deficient in gas -- we can bring the know-how on enhanced oil recovery to allow them to use gas for the domestic market," Langemann said.

Wintershall signed a memorandum of understanding with the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in May 2010 on possible joint exploration and development of a gas and condensate deposit in Abu Dhabi.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart_elliott@platts.com --Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan_fox@platts.com [source: http://www.platts.com]
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Political News

Political News
Released:  19/06/20122012-06-19

Campaigning for Libya's first national election in a generation kicked off ahead of July 7 polls to choose an national assembly which will re-draw the autocratic system of rule put in place by ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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Business News

Business News
Released:  19/06/20122012-06-19
Word count:  321

If one wants to do business in Libya it is important to understand the current situation in the country, which is going through a political, economic and social transition and is still recovering from the consequences of the revolution.

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di-ve - editorial@di-ve.com
The revolution has led to a great deal of confusion, particularly among foreign investors, because the shifting of regulation and procedures and a weak regulatory environment have not inspired confidence in the market. Following a reform process enacted by the former regime, the economy experienced slight growth in the banking system and among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

To help entrepreneurs eyeing Libya better understand the situation, the GRTU organised another in a series of New Libya Investment Law Information sessions to help local enterprises prepare and protect themselves when approaching Libya. To this end, it invited a Libyan consultancy firm to explain the New Investment Law. The meeting was very informative.

Libya is understandably a market of interest for local enterprises both for its opportunities and historical relations with Malta. The way of doing business with Libya has changed drastically following the revolution and is being accompanied by changes in the legal system, including the laws concerning investment.

The country remains a highly challenging market, and while there are potential investment opportunities, there are corresponding challenges to successfully operating in Libya. The main challenges of the Libyan market remain: lack of sufficient information on Libyan companies; lack of transparency in the tendering process; instability in terms of security, regulation and political environment; an underdeveloped banking system; lack of skilled and educated labour; corruption; lengthy bureaucratic process and difficulty finding reliable Libyan partners.

When considering market entry it is important that any processes are official to guarantee security and protection of the investment.

Foreign investors have five main options when considering market entry, each of which have certain advantages and restrictions: representative office; branch office; joint venture company with a local firm and registration under Investment Law No. 5 of 1997 (Openness to Foreign Investment).

Also mentioned during the meeting were the prohibited activities for foreign investors; requirements for getting approval; privileges and exemptions and an overview of the tax system. [Source: DI-VE]
Comments:

Business News

Business News
Released:  18/06/20122012-06-18
Word count:  391

General Electric, the biggest maker of power-generation equipment, expects to generate as much as US$10bn in revenue from Libya, as the North African country vies to rebuild its economy, infrastructure, and institutions, and respond to the demands of its population, the company’s regional President and CEO Nabil Habayeb said in an interview with Arabian Business.

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"The needs of states need to be addressed'' and are "magnified after the Arab Spring", Habayeb said. "There is the wealth in a lot of countries to be able to support meeting those needs; the challenge is for countries that don’t have the same wealth from the petrodollars." In Libya, where the regime of Muammar Gaddafi was toppled during the wave of revolts that swept the region last year, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE sees a large market for all of its business segments and has been in talks with the provisional government. "The country needs everything, development of oil and gas, which will create the wealth to improve the life of people, clean water, reliable power, a good healthcare system, building the transportation system both rail as well as the aviation system so that you can get the economy going - all of these things are areas of focus for us in Libya, like we did in Iraq,’’ Habayeb said.

Libya, which has about 3.5 percent of the world’s proven crude oil reserves, produced - before the revolt against Gaddafi - about 1.77m bpd of crude oil, equivalent to 2 percent of global output and close to 0.2m barrels-equivalent of natural gas, according to the International Monetary Fund. Oil production fell to 22,000 bpd in July 2011 and output was restored rapidly in the last quarter of 2011 to half the pre-conflict level. Unemployment in the country before the revolution was about 26 percent. Libya is the only Arab country where more men are unemployed than women, according to the Arab League. The report says that female unemployment in the country is running at 18 percent, against 21 percent among men. "As the momentum starts building up, Libya could be another Iraq, another Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be huge infrastructure projects,’’ Habayeb said, adding "over the next three to four years it will be anywhere between US$6bn and US$10bn’’ in revenue for the company. After contracting 61 percent last year, the North African country’s economy is forecast to surge by 76.3 percent in 2012, according to the IMF. "One of the things that governments, especially those that went through a transition because of the Arab Spring, the big factor for them is credibility and how quickly are they going to be able to deliver on the promises and expectations of people,’’ Habayeb said.

[SOURCE: ArabianBusiness.com]
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