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Libya to put bidding for licences for new bank next year.

Abu Dhabi, 30 Sept: Libya aims to privatize part of the National Commercial Bank and will open the sector to competition by selling bank licences to help diversify its economy away from oil, its central bank governor Farhat Omar Bin Guidara said.

Libya has seen revenue grow as it emerges from decades of Western sanctions, but the government is struggling to reform a highly centralised banking system, which is widely seen as an obstacle to private investment and growth.

There will be bidding next year for two to three licenses for new banks, Farhat said adding the tender process would be open to international banks, who would not need a local partner.

The move follows the flotation of 15 percent of Al Joumhouriya Bank on the local stock market earlier this year and government steps in May to set regulations for its commercial banks to seek strategic partnerships with foreign banks.

The measures are part of the central bank's strategy of reforming the banking system and improving its competitiveness.

Bin Guidara said a 15 percent stake in NCB worth 50 million dinars would be floated before the end of 2009 after already selling holdings in two other banks to foreign lenders in 2007 and 2008.

Al Bawaba / Euclid Infotech Monitoring (Arabic to English)

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Publication:Al Bawaba/Euclid Infotech Monitoring (Arabic to English Service)
Date:Sep 30, 2009
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