Last Updated: Wed Sep 21, 2011 14:19 pm (KSA) 11:19 am (GMT)

Libya central bank has enough funds for six months, says finance expert

A boy jumps into the water on a beach in Tripoli; Central Bank of Libya says it has enough money to cover state spending for up to six months. (Photo by Reuters)
A boy jumps into the water on a beach in Tripoli; Central Bank of Libya says it has enough money to cover state spending for up to six months. (Photo by Reuters)

Libya’s central bank has enough money to cover state spending for up to six months and has no urgent need to resort to bridge loans, a finance official said on Wednesday.

Wafik Shater, a finance official in the National Transitional Council’s (NTC’s) stabilization team, said the central bank had “several billion Libyan dinars.” One billion Libyan dinars are worth about $820 million.

“We’re confident the money is sufficient for six months,” Shater told reporters in Dubai. “We’re in better shape than we anticipated initially.”

“I am talking about actual funds in the account for the state which are enough to cover needs for the next three months and possibly six months,” he said, adding the NTC was planning to restart the stock market soon.

Libya has been pressing the international community to lift sanctions to release around $170 billion of frozen Libyan assets to the country’s new leaders after they toppled Muammar Qaddafi.

Libya’s frozen assets have been held by various governments over the last half year in compliance with a U.N. sanctions regime imposed in February and March.

Shater said it was unlikely that the North African state would need bridge financing from international banks.

“Discussions took place before the liberation of Tripoli when the NTC needed funds. The process took time and by the time international banks agreed, Tripoli had fallen,” he said, declining to mention the banks by name.

“I doubt we will resort to it.” ($1 = 1.219 Libyan Dinars)

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