Libya Wealth Fund To Disclose Details On Invest – Fund Head

The State-run Libyan Investment Authority will disclose details about its investment strategy in coming months to allay concerns in the U.S. and European about its intentions, the fund’s Executive Director Mohamed Layas said Sunday. The Libyan state investment vehicle, or sovereign wealth fund, will also open a London office this year after months of consideration and is eyeing investments in some distressed banking and real estate assets in the U.S. and Europe, Layas said, declining to provide specifics.

“We will soon publish a report soon about our investments and intentions. We will show our purpose to be transparent and that we are a long-term investor,” Layas told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview by telephone from the Libyan capital, Tripoli. He declined to provide any details about what type of investment principles the LIA will commit to and said the report could be disclosed before spring. By laying out its investment philosophy in some form, the LIA wants to assure lawmakers in foreign countries its intentions are purely commercial and not for political advantage, said Layas, a former chairman of the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank.

“Any deals we pursue will be about commerce only,” he said. The LIA currently has about $70 billion on hand to deploy, Layas said, up from around $40 billion when the fund was launched in late 2007 with the aim of investing big chunks of the North African oil-rich nation’s growing cash pile from record crude prices into overseas assets. Government-controlled investment funds have snapped up foreign companies in recent years, sparking calls in the U.S. and Europe for more transparency about the funds’ purposes.

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