UN Sanctions Cost Libya $4 Billion

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The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in Tripoli revealed huge financial losses to its portfolio as a result of the asset freeze imposed on its funds nearly a decade ago, according to Forbes.

In a report, the LIA said that its portfolio could have been worth $4.1 billion more, had it not had to deal with UN sanctions over the past decade.

This came after a meeting was held between the sovereign wealth fund, Libya’s mission at the UN, and the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for Libya on 15 December. The meeting was held to discuss the ongoing sanctions on Libyan assets.

According to Forbes, the LIA announced that a recent report compiled by consultancy firm Deloitte concluded there had been, “a significant negative impact on the value of the investments held by the LIA and its subsidiaries,” as a result of the sanctions.

Forbes added that the fund was first targeted by an asset freeze in February 2011, via UN Security Council resolution 1970, amid the revolution which unseated Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The restrictions remain in place on most of the LIA assets held outside Libya.

In an emailed statement, the LIA said, “If sanctions had not been imposed and our equity assets had performed in line with the market, the total value of the portfolio would have been approximately $4.1 billion higher.”

The sovereign wealth fund has been trying for some time to convince the UN to ease the burden caused by the sanctions.

LIA chairman, Dr. Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed has repeatedly said the fund is not calling for all its overseas assets to be unfrozen, but it does want to find “feasible ways to more actively manage” its portfolio to avoid losses.

Another meeting is due to take place next year between the LIA and the UN sanctions committee, where the LIA plans to present its recommendations for ways to make the management of its portfolio easier.