TRIPOLI Libya's interim government has approved the appointment of a board of trustees for the $65 billion Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the state news agency reported on Wednesday, paving the way for appointing new management for the fund.
"The cabinet approved the appointment of the board of trustees of the Libyan Authority," the agency said, without giving more details.
The fund's former boards of trustees and directors had been frozen after the February 17 uprising the ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule. The has cabinet yet to approve a new board of directors which would hire a new management for the fund.
During the civil war the fund, which was under U.N. Security Council Sanctions, was managed by an executive team appointed by the National Transitional Council to conduct a probe of the fund's investments and restructure some of its subsidiaries.
But the fund had not been able to make major decisions such as potential asset sales or acquisitions, a job that would be taken over by the new management.
The LIA's chief executive Rafik Nayed told Reuters in two separate interviews last year the board of trustees would include cabinet ministers with economic and financial portfolios such as the minister of economy and minister of finance.
"The source of authority in the Libyan Investment Authority descends from the board of trustees," he said, adding that the governor of the central bank would also serve in the board.
He said in November the cash-heavy fund would be used to finance reconstruction projects.
About $29.5 billion of the fund is cash. It also includes, according to a document obtained by Reuters, $10.8 billion in equities, $9.7 billion in bonds, $8.3 billion in strategic shareholdings, $4 billion in hedge funds, structured products and derivatives, and the remainder in other investments.
Among LIA's assets are stakes in Italian bank Unicredit, British publisher Pearson and Juventus Football Club in Italy.
(Reporting by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)