Central Bank Denies Licensing Foreign Banks

The Central Bank of Libya has denied that it had issued licences to foreign banks to operate independently in Libya, saying that any licences issued to foreign banks  had to be in partnership with a Libyan bank.

According to a report from Libya Herald, the CBL also denied rumours that it plans to sell the National Commercial Bank (NCB) to Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), or that it has made a decision to specifically bar any Egyptian banks temporarily from bidding for operating licences in Libya.

Reports of the NCB sale were met with opposition, with the sale being described as a “betrayal and abandonment of Libya’s sovereign economic potential”.

The North Africa Post reports that the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), which is keen to enter the Libyan market, has had its application rejected "on the basis that the legal framework is still under preparation". It says some believe that Egypt's refusal to extradite certain individuals to Tripoli is playing a major role in shutting Libya’s market to Egypt. This may change following the recent announcement of the extradition of suspects to Libya, and the lodgement of a $2-billion deposit with the Egyptian Central Bank.

(Source: Libya Herald, North Africa Post)

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