Libya Denies Shortage of Cash Reserves

The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has denied that Libya is running short of cash and is unable to fund its projects, despite a collapse in the North African state’s oil export revenues due to the shutdown of most of its oil terminals since last July.

Dwindling export volumes have led the IMF, in its latest World Economic Outlook, released last week, to raise its budget breakeven oil price forecast for Libya for 2014 to almost $190/B.

“We have enough funds for three years without getting a single cent from oil,” the head of the CBL reserves department Musbah Alkari told the Libya Herald on 6 April. He says the bank has over $115bn in foreign currency reserves placed outside the country in banks like HSBC, Bank of New York and Barclays. Around 60% held in dollars and the remainder in euros and sterling, he says.

In addition, Libya has some $50bn in its sovereign wealth fund held by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the official says. According to the latest ranking by the SWF Institute, LIA assets total $60bn, down $5bn from data published in February (MEES, 21 February). (CONTINUED - 442 WORDS)