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Libya to set up $148 mln bank in Kenya

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Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normál táblázat"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} The Libyan government will invest €100 million (about $148 million) in Kenya to set up Sahel-Sahara Investment and Trade Bank.

The bank’s chairman and general manager, Alhadi Alwafalli, saidon Wednesday the proposed bank will be operational within the next few months. “I have met the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and the Central Bank Governor and after these talks with the Vice President we are going to meet the Finance Minister,” Alwafalli said during a meeting with VP Kalonzo Musyoka in Nairobi.

The development comes two months after Musyoka met Libyan President Muamar Gaddafi at the CEN-SAD Summit in Benin and proposed that the Sahel-Sahara Investment and Trade Bank’s regional offices be established in Nairobi. The bank’s chairman said the formalities to set up the bank have started in earnest and the Chairman of the bank is in Kenya to begin the procedures. Musyoka said the setting up of the bank will help enhance Nairobi’s image as a financial hub in the region. He noted that the operations of the bank will not only create jobs for Kenyans but also improve their living standards. He assured the chairman that all government departments concerned will help facilitate the opening of the bank.

The Libyan government is planning to invest $8 billion in Africa’s most profitable ventures, mainly in the oil, gas, air transport, tourism and the construction of oil refineries, among others, to help spur Africa’s economic development. Libya Africa Portfolio Fund for Investment (LAP) President Bashir Saleh said in Nairobi last month the government agency was looking to expand its operations within the African continent in its efforts to create viable economic opportunities. LAP, which recently acquired the Grand Regency Hotel in Kenya for $45 million, said it was ready to face investigators over its bid for the hotel and insisted that it acquired the property in a clean and transparent transaction which met all requirements.

Libya is seeking to invest in major oil and gas projects in the East African region. The LAP has recently acquired the operations of Mobil Kenya, one of the leading oil marketing firms and transformed it into a leading market player. The officials said their intention was to invest in projects that offer both Kenya and Libya a win-win result, provided “money can be accumulated” from the investments. LAP also plans investments in the ailing oil refinery in Kenya and has also expressed interest in becoming a major shareholder in the Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline. (Xinhua)

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