Interview with General Manager of Jumhouria Bank

Regarding the lending during this reconstruction period, are you providing loans for the reconstruction?

Many are lending or granting facilities to the contractors which have a contract with the government for construction. As you know, the budget has not been released yet but the government asked the contractors to continue their work. Even though the budget has not been released yet, there are many receivables and contractors need money so we as a bank provide these contractors with facilities and we try to extend and increase their facilities to at least enable them to continue their construction work until the budget has been released.

Then they will get more money and eventually the bank will generate some profit from the extension and increasing of financing for these contractors.

You don't see lack of liquidity as a major issue for you?

There is no problem. We are a very liquid bank. We have 14 billion Libyan dinars just in promissory notes of the central bank. We are just getting 1% from the central bank and this money should be granted to the individual market at least to contribute to the building of the country for the future. We should especially think about investing our money in the private sector to let the private sector contribute to the structure of the country.

Why is the central bank having all this liquidity and not releasing it to the market?

We have some laws which should be reconsidered and amended by the general congress to enable us as a banking sector to contribute to the investment side. We need these changes to allow the banking sector to work freely with security. The money belongs to the people and we have to study properly where to invest the money. In particular, most of the money is short-term funding and some investments right now should be long-term funding. So we have to do our best.

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