The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) issued the first licences for foreign exchange bureaux.
The provision of foreign exchange services had been the monopoly of banks during the Gaddafi era, and this is the first time the CBL has licenced this activity to non-banking operators.
According to a report from Libya Herald, the demand for licences was so over-subscribed in Tripoli and Benghazi that the Bank had to organise a public draw for the limited number of licences it plans to issue this year.
There were 480 applications all over Libya, and in Tripoli, for example, only 72 applicants were awarded licences out of the total of 195 that had applied.
The state monopoly, which controlled and manipulated the exchange rate and supply, caused a huge alternate or black market in foreign exchange that has been thriving for decades.
Forex is still restricted by the CBL, as proof of entry of goods into Libya is still required by banks. There is also a list of goods that is approved by the CBL for the official transfer of currency through local banks.
(Source: Libya Herald)