Libya foreign investment

02 October 2008

The six key figures in Libyan investment: Mohammed Layas, Hamed Hoderi, Mustafa Zarti, Mahmoud Jebril, Abdulrahman al-Gamoudi and Ibrahim Zlitni.

Mohammed Layas

Position: Executive director, Libyan Investment Authority

Biography: Mohammed Layas heads up Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). The LIA, also known as the Libyan Investment Corporation, was established in late 2006 to manage the country’s hydrocarbons wealth and is an umbrella for Libya’s existing investment funds. Layas has a degree in accounting and business management from the University of Benghazi and a diploma from the Economic Development Institute in Washington DC. He has been a public servant since before Muammar Gaddafi took power in 1969 and has served as a foreign diplomat. He has a senior position at the General People’s Committee for Finance (finance ministry) and is a former chairman of the General Board of Planning and Libyan Arab Foreign Bank. He has held positions at several foreign banks, including British Arab Commercial Bank in London.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1335 1101

Hamed Hoderi

Position: Head of Economic & Social Development Fund

Biography: As head of the Economic & Social Development Fund (ESDF), Hamed Hoderi is responsible for the country’s most important domestic investment body. An accountant by profession, Hoderi was head of the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico) for almost 20 years before joining the ESDF in 2005. At Lafico, his roles included head of the organisation’s investments in Cairo, including the Sheraton Hotel. His previous roles include chairman of the budgetary committee of the General Assembly (parliament), and he was chairman of Gumhouria Bank prior to its merger with Umma Bank in 2007. Reporting directly to the cabinet, the ESDF has estimated funds of more than $10bn and acts as a local partner for foreign investors in Libya, primarily in the real estate sector. It also holds majority stakes in Sahara Bank and Wahda Bank.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1335 1138

Mustafa Zarti

Position: Chairman, Oil Invest

Biography: Mustafa Zarti was made chairman of Oil Investment Company (Oil Invest) in early 2008, following the reorganisation of the management board, a year after the body was moved from the portfolio of state-owned National Oil Company. It is now part of the portfolio of funds managed by the Libya Investment Authority (LIA). Zarti is also deputy executive director of the LIA and carries out much of the organisation’s day-to-day management. While his banking pedigree is not as great as the LIA’s Mohammed Layas, he is nevertheless considered to be a key contact point for foreign businessmen and is keen to develop his own influence. As head of Oil Invest, Zarti is responsible for the body’s downstream hydrocarbons assets under the Tamoil brand, including refineries and a network of petrol stations, predominantly in Italy. He is also responsible for future investments in the international oil sector.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1335 1101

Mahmoud Jebril

Position: Director general, Libyan Economic Development Board

Biography: Mahmoud Jebril has been head of the Libyan Economic Development Board (LEDB) since its establishment in January 2007. The LEDB, which reports directly to the cabinet, was set up to develop Libya’s economic reform programme. Educated in the US, Jebril is a former management consultant and has worked on projects for clients including the Arab League and the UAE’s Interior Ministry. As director general of the LEDB, Jebril is ultimately responsible for
the development of the country’s new economic strategy and for proposing economic reform initiatives to the cabinet. He is also responsible for communicating Libya’s development plans to foreign investors and facilitating their relations with other investment bodies, such as the Libyan Investment Authority and the Economic & Social Development Fund.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1361 9233

Abdulrahman al-Gamoudi

Position: Secretary, Libyan Investment Board

Biography: As head of the Libyan Investment Board, Abdulrahman al-Gamoudi is responsible for attracting foreign investment into Libya. The LIB acts as a one-stop shop for international companies wanting to invest in the country. It studies investment proposals from foreign firms and supervises their implementation, ensuring projects are carried out in compliance with the country’s regulations, in particular those that stipulate use of local partners. Although Al-Gamoudi is relatively new to the Libyan political scene, he is also secretary of the General People’s Committee for Investment (investment ministry). He was educated in the US and has 20 years’ experience teaching business management. His success in promoting Libya as an attractive destination for investment has been frustrated by the country’s structural weaknesses, exacerbated by Gaddafi’s penchant for constantly rewriting Libya’s institutional framework.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1361 8686/1360 8183

Ibrahim Zlitni

Position: Chairman and general manager, Libyan Foreign Investment Company

Biography: Ibrahim Zlitni recently took over as head of the Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LFIC) from Abdulfatah Sharif. Apart from a six-month secondment to the British Arab Commercial Bank in London in the 1990s, University of Tripoli graduate Zlitni has spent the rest of his career to date working for the Libyan Foreign Bank. As head of LFIC, he is responsible for international investments worth more than $2bn, predominantly in real estate and tourism. At home, LFIC has a stake in Arab Cement Company in Tripoli, a partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company to develop a five-star hotel, also in the capital, and is promoting a chain of six tourist hotels across the country that it plans to develop with international partners. Originally known as the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico), LFIC now answers to the Libyan Investment Authority.

Contact Tel: (+2182) 1361 4890/4891

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