(Reuters) - Libya has invested in a wide range of companies including European bluechips through its sovereign wealth fund, estimated to manage around $70 billion.
In a confidential diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks, Mohamed Layas, head of the Libyan Investment Authority, said several U.S. banks are each managing up to $500 million of the fund’s money.
Below are some of the foreign assets held by the fund, as well as details of other investments:
* Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the umbrella body for Libya’s sovereign wealth funds, owns:
— 2.6 percent of Italian bank UniCredit
— 2.01 percent of Italian aerospace and defense company Finmeccanica SpA
— 3 percent of British publisher Pearson, which owns the Financial Times
— 13 percent of Jordan’s Zara Investment Holding
— 7.5 percent of Juventus Football Club in Italy
* LIA bought 147.9 million lira of the shares, or more than 5 percent, of Turkish real estate investment trust Emlak Konut GYO at its IPO in December.
* LIA acquired a stake of about 1 percent in Russian aluminum giant UC RUSAL when the firm carried out a stock float in Hong Kong, a source close to the listing told Reuters. LIA has not confirmed the acquisition.
* LIA had wanted to buy a 10 percent stake in Austria’s Wienerberger, the world’s biggest brickmaker but this later fell through. The company said on Tuesday it did not know if Libya held a direct stake in the company, and if it did, it would be less than 5 percent. It was also possible Libya held a stake through a wealth fund managed by someone else, Wienerberger said.
* Libya has a stake of less than 2 percent in Italian carmaker Fiat via its Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) investment vehicle, Italian media has reported.
* The Libyan African Investment Portfolio (LAP), launched in 2006, has placed several hundred million dollars of its assets with newly created London-based asset management firm FM Capital Partners, the firm’s chief executive said.
* LAP set up LAP Green Network in 2007 to invest in African telecommmunications. It has its headquarters in Uganda and owns or controls telecoms companies or licenses in eight African countries.
* The Greek government is in talks with officials from Libya’s sovereign wealth funds about possible investments in Greek companies, a senior Greek diplomat told Reuters.
* Libya Oil Holdings, another state-owned firm, has 24 percent of Circle Oil, an oil and gas exploration company which has assets in Egypt, Morocco, Namibia, Oman and Tunisia.
* According to the Daily Telegraph, Dalia Advisory Limited, set up in 2009, operates as a “front company” for LIA in London.
* The Guardian newspaper said LIA’s UK property investments included Portman House, a 146,550 sq ft retail complex in London’s Oxford Street, bought in July 2009 for 155 million pounds. It also has an office building at 14 Cornhill, opposite the Bank of England, and occupied by firms such as Aviva Investors, purchased at 120 million pounds.
Source: Thomson Reuters data, company websites, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, IFSWF
Reporting by Natsuko Waki