Banking & Finance

Following an 8 February meeting in Tripoli, Al Refi Bank stated that it had issued loans totalling LD586.7m ($469.4m) from March 2003 to January 2011, according to Al Fajar Al Jadeed.
Qatar National Bank (QNB) and the Bank of Commerce and Development (BCD) have received regulatory approval to enter a strategic partnership in which QNB will buy a 49% stake of BCD. 
Libya’s second-largest bank, Gumhouria Bank, has signed a deal with International Turnkey Systems (ITS) of Kuwait to help convert seven branches to Islamic systems.  
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the country’s principal sovereign wealth fund, recorded a profit of $980m in 2010, while total capital at year-end stood at $65bn, according to Al Shams.
Libya and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have launched a $3bn joint investment fund, according to Libyan and Emirati media, with each country providing an equal share of the initial capital.
A 29 December meeting of Sahara Bank shareholders in Tripoli approved a decision to raise the bank’s capital by LD368m ($293m), according to Quryna.
The First Gulf Libyan Bank (FGLB) opened a branch at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on 12 December, Al Shams reported.
Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) has signed an agreement to acquire a 49% ownership share in Libyan Stock Market-listed Mediterranean Bank, according to an ABC press release in mid-December.
The Slovenian prime minister, Borut Pahor, and the Secretary of the GPC, Al Baghdadi Ali Al Mahmoudi, have agreed that the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) will invest €30m ($40m) in a mall in Slovenia, according to the Slovenian Press Agency .
The Central Bank of Libya has purchased a 17.7% stake in the Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Reuters reported in early December.
In late November the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) bought a TL147.8m ($99.5m) stake in Emlak Konut, a Turkish real estate investment trust owned by the state housing builder TOKI.
Arig, a reinsurance firm based in Bahrain, will open a representative office in Tripoli, the company said in a 26 November press release.
Tunisia-based Amen Bank plans to open a leasing subsidiary in Libya, according to a report in African Manager, a business and economic news site, which quoted the bank’s vice-president. The announcement came during a road show held at the company’s headquarters in Tunis on 18 November.
The Central Bank of Libya and Central Bank of Tunisia have agreed to create a unified debit card platform so that cards may be used in transactions in either country, according to Libyan state media.
In early November the Oyia newspaper quoted Suleiman Chehoumi, the chairman of the management committee of the Libyan Stock Market (LSM), as saying that 20 local companies had signed agreements to list on the Tripoli bourse in 2011.