Libyan Stakes in UniCredit, Finmeccanica Unfrozen

The Court of Appeal in Rome has ordered the release from judicial seizure of the Libyan Investment Authority's equity stakes in Italian bank UniCredit and Italian air defence group Finmeccanica.

The decision follows the release in July of LIA's stake in oil company Eni; according to Dow Jones, the ruling means all LIA's investments in Italy are back under the control of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund.

Reuters reports that the assets had been seized in March following a request by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on the grounds that they were held by LIA on behalf of the family of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"I am very pleased with this result, which brings more than 1 billion euros ($1.28 billion) in Libyan state assets back under the full control of the democratically elected Government of Libya on behalf of the Libyan people. I am also pleased that LIA can once again focus in an active way on its investment portfolio in Italy," LIA's chairman Mohsen Derregia said in a statement.

LIA manages a portion of Libya's revenues from oil and gas production, which total around $60 billion in assets.

(Sources: Reuters, Dow Jones)

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