EconSource: Western Allies Warn of Conflict Over Control of Libya’s National Resources

The United States and five European countries warned that Libyan state institutions that control billions of euros of national assets risked being exploited by rival forces wrestling for control of the country. Libya’s central bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information Technology Company together control a huge portfolio of assets ranging from stakes in some of Europe’s biggest companies to vital oil revenues. Control of state bodies has become increasingly murky as Libya has descended into near anarchy since rebels toppled Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with two rival governments backed by armed militias now claiming legitimate authority. In a joint statement, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain urged that Libya’s economic, financial and energy resources be used “for the benefit of all Libyan people.” [AFP, Reuters, 5/12/2015]

UAE to invest in post-war Iraq and Yemen, signs construction agreement with Egypt
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will invest in post-war Iraq and Yemen in an effort to stabilize the two countries through economic growth and job creation, Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed al-Mansouri said. He said there will need to be an end to the fighting in Iraq and Yemen before the UAE invests. He did not state how much the UAE would invest in the two countries once fighting ended or if the government had identified any particular investment or infrastructure projects. He also suggested that the investment would come from state-owned entities and would not be in the form of aid. The UAE has also signed an agreement with Egypt’s Ministry of Housing to finance the construction of 50,000 residential properties in seventeen governorates. [Gulf News, 5/12/2015]

United States says Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery severely damaged in clashes
Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery is severely damaged and barely working, a Pentagon official said Monday, as the facility remains contested between Iraqi forces and Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants. Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said that the refinery’s infrastructure has been seriously damaged and is not functioning. His comments come after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said last week that a US-led coalition conducted twenty-six airstrikes in and around the refinery. Warren said that the airstrikes may have damaged the refinery’s infrastructure. [Al Bawaba, 5/12/2015]

Egypt’s Central Bank says $15 billion provided for import needs over four months
The Central Bank of Egypt and local banks have provided around $15 billion for imports over the past four months, according to the bank’s governor Hisham Ramez. Ramez said the bank will not revoke a decision to impose a $10,000 daily ceiling for cash deposits in hard currency for individuals and companies. He said the decision aims to address the black market and create a unified official market. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab called on banks to facilitate access to credit needed to import food commodities, production requirements, and fuel. [Cairo Post, 5/12/2015]

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