By Sami Zaptia.
London, 30 August 2016:
The new LIA Interim Steering Committee appointed by the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council/Government of National Accord (PC) had its first meeting on Monday in Tripoli.
The meeting, chaired by Ali Mahmoud, its acting new chairman, was reported to have outlined means of unifying the LIA and ending the current administrative divide in the Libyan Sovereign investment body.
The LIA is a consortium of over 550 companies reporting through five subsidiaries, making up its portfolio. These assets and investments are located across three continents and account for some $US 67 billion in value.
The little-known Mahmoud was recently appointed to head a committee of five members to temporarily administer and steer the LIA with the privileges and terms of reference of the Board of Directors and Chairman with a view to safeguard the normal administration of the Sovereign Fund.
The appointment of Mahmoud came on the heels of the resignation of Hassan Bouhadi as Chairman of the Board which was followed by the resignation of eastern Central Bank of Libya Governor Ali Hibri from the Board of Trustees.
Both resignations were in protest at coercion by the Tobruk House of Representatives and its government headed by Abdullah Thinni to force changes and new appointments on the Board of the LIA.
After the first meeting in Tripoli, Mahmoud said “our first meeting focused generally on means of protecting the LIA’s assets and working along with our international partners to attain long-term benefits for the Libyan people. We further addressed our legal position regarding the cases against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale before the English courts.”
Today, British ambassador Peter Millett met with Mahmoud in Tripoli which he described as a ‘‘good meeting’’. The meeting and photograph released by the LIA’s media department at least proves that the Serraj-appointed LIA Steering Committee chairman Mahmoud exists in real life.