LIA’s Ali Shamekh Advocates Inward Investment
Ali Shamekh, the CEO of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) as appointed by the House of Representatives and the eastern authorities in August 2016, told Reuters on the sidelines of Global Sovereign Wealth Forum in London on 29 March that he was working to unite the fragmented LIA. The Government of National Accord (GNA) also named a Steering Committee to manage the fund last summer, headed by Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed. However, following a recent Tripoli court ruling freezing the decree that created the GNA’s steering committee, AbdulMagid Breish, who was the chairman of the LIA before it split and claims he retains this position, has moved back into the LIA’s head office in Tripoli.
Shamekh said the fall in production, lower oil prices and instability in Libya meant he was considering investing part of the fund’s capital inside the country. “There are not enough resources or money coming into the country,” he said. “LIA can play a role in directing some of its funds into energy and power generation, both traditional and renewables, oil and gas, and infrastructure – our ports and airports need rehabilitation.”
He said he was considering starting an “incubation and acceleration” fund to back young entrepreneurs with seed capital, particularly in the IT and financial services sectors. The money for this inward investment could come from the $11 billion Libyan Local Investment and Development Fund, a subsidiary of LIA. Shamekh also wants to reopen a London office.
“We are considering having a presence for LIA in London … it’s under evaluation by the board of directors,” he said. “The United Kingdom and London in particular is a focal point of our future strategy overseas.”
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