Thursday 25 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) avoided a costly and potentially embarrassing court case on Thursday by agreeing to pay nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to settle a long-running dispute with the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). France's second-biggest listed bank reached an 11th-hour settlement over LIA allegations that trades were secured as part of a "fraudulent and corrupt scheme" involving the payment of $58.5 million by SocGen to a Panamanian-registered company. "By settling this dispute ... we avoid a long trial that would have demanded a lot of resources," SocGen CEO Frederic Oudea told journalists on a results call, adding that the bank was now able to concentrate its energy on its main businesses. A spokesman in Paris said SocGen was paying...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
Libya’s feuding administrations agreed to unite state institutions and build a national army under civilian leadership after two days of talks in Abu Dhabi. If the accord survives, it could be a big step toward ending six years of chaos in the North African oil producer. UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and Khalifa Haftar, the Egypt-backed former general who dominates a rival administration in the east, also agreed on joint efforts to fight terrorism, a cease-fire in the south, national reconciliation talks and the right of return for displaced peoples, their offices said in statements on Wednesday. Neither statement mentioned a previously reported agreement to include the speakers of the rival parliaments and army commanders in a new presidential council,...
(The Libya Observer 05/04/17)
Local people sleep outside banks once a week to withdraw a small amount of money in the morning as cash crisis worsens. Libya's Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Gharyani has urged Libyan people to stage mass demonstrations to demand their rights as the country’s economic crisis is going from bad to worse with no government solution in sight. “The people in general are complaining and feel imminent danger because of conspiracies and plots by the international community and some of our people,” he said in his weekly program on Tanasuh TV on Wednesday. The Mufti referred in his comments to the ongoing severe cash shortage and crowding outside the banks, which add to the woes of citizens. Local people sleep outside...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
A deal between Italy and Libya to hold migrants in camps in the north African country ignores "catastrophic conditions" in Libya and would not curb migration, Germany's foreign minister said on Tuesday, contradicting Berlin's previous support for the plan. "The camps existing on the ground already show horrible and catastrophic conditions. The idea to set up camps ... would be an utter disregard of circumstances for the people," Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's Vice Chancellor, told reporters. Italy signed a deal with the U.N.-backed Libyan government in Tripoli in February that also promised training, equipment and money to fight human traffickers - an agreement initially endorsed by both the European Union and Germany.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
Libya's eastern military commander met the head of its U.N.-backed government on Tuesday, ending a 16-month standoff that has undermined diplomatic efforts to unify a country riven by factional fighting since 2011. Having previously spurned invitations to engage with the government, Khalifa Haftar held talks with Fayez Seraj in Abu Dhabi that one source close to Haftar said produced an agreement to hold elections early next year. Regional and Western powers have for months been pushing the two men to discuss resetting a U.N.-mediated agreement that led to the creation of Seraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. The deal was an attempt to end the turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. Haftar is the dominant...
(Bloomberg 05/03/17)
Leaders of the two main rival factions in Libya have reached an agreement to set up a power-sharing presidential council, a move that may bring stability to the North African oil producer riven into fiefdoms since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and rival Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar agreed to form a council in which they will be members along with the speaker of parliament Aguila Saleh, Al Arabiya news channel reported. The deal, which followed peace talks in Abu Dhabi, requires that elections will be held six months after completion of the deal, which also includes an agreement on dissolving militias and fighting terrorist groups, the news channel reported. The turmoil that has devastated the country...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
The head of Libya's UN-backed unity government on Tuesday held a rare meeting with a military strongman who supports a rival authority in the violence-wracked country, official media said. Fayez al-Sarraj and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar met face-to-face in Abu Dhabi, the LANA news agency said, for only the second time since Sarraj was named prime minister-designate in late 2015. Sarraj and Haftar met "thanks to international and Arab mediation", according to LANA, which is loyal to the parliament based in eastern Libya, after a first meeting in January last year. Libyan television broadcaster 218 reported that the two held talks "in private" after posing for a photograph together. Political rivalry and fighting between militias has hampered Libya's efforts to...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
Libya's oil production, the country's main source of revenue, rose Monday to more than 760,000 barrels per day for the first time since 2014, the National Oil Corporation said. Oil is Libya's main natural resource, with reserves estimated at 48 billion barrels, the largest in Africa. NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla indicated in a statement that "oil production today, for the first time since 2014, passed the 760,000 barrels a day mark". "The NOC is determined to continue its plan to increase production as this is the only way to ensure growth in government revenues and thus save the national economy," Sanalla said. The statement said the Court of Auditors in 2016 recorded the worst deficit "in the modern history of...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
The Libyan Investment Authority’s $1.5 billion lawsuit against Societe Generale SA, packed with allegations of corruption and bribery, promises to be one of London’s most dramatic trials of 2017 -- and much of it will happen in secret. The case, which begins Wednesday only six months after the sovereign wealth fund had a similar lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. thrown out, will take place against a backdrop of U.S. investigations of banks and continued civil unrest in Libya. Three of the lender’s senior executives will testify behind closed doors, fearing incrimination in the American probe, and as many as 50 Libyans will have their identities shielded to protect their families back home. Secrecy on this scale is "rare, and...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
Libya's UN-backed prime minister, Fayez Serraj, met Austrian foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz here on Monday. Kurz confirmed Austria's support for Serraj's government and keenness for Libya's stability. He mentioned Austria's willingness to develop bilateral relations and cooperation with Libya in the fields of oil, health and security. The Austrian FM also expressed hope for the return of the Austrian embassy and companies to Libya. "Libya is an important neighbor and partner of Europe, especially in the migration crisis," he said. He also tweeted earlier on Monday that Austria will continue to support Libya with another 1 million euro (1.09 U.S. dollars) humanitarian aid for 2017. Serraj said he appreciated the bilateral relations and the Austrian support for the Libyan political...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
The start of a trial brought by Libya's $67 billion sovereign wealth fund against Societe Generale has been adjourned until Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) said. The LIA is pursuing SocGen (SOGN.PA) in relation to five trades totaling $2.1 billion, executed between 2007 and 2009, before Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was ousted as Libyan leader. The trial was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday in London's High Court, and is expected to run until the end of July. By Claire Milhench
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
The Libyan government has confirmed full support and necessary assistance for the anti-oil smuggling operations by sea and land until this phenomenon is eliminated, the government said in a statement on Saturday. Two oil tankers have been seized off the Libyan city of Zwara on Friday, suspected of smuggling oil following hours of gun firing, Libyan naval spokesman said in details. Ayoub Qassem, the spokesman of the Libyan navy, said the two vessels were seized two km off the coast of Zwara in western Libya after a gun battle that lasted for three hours. Qassem said that one of the vessels carried Ukrainian flag named Routa, with 14 crew members and 3,330 tons of diesel on board. The other one...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
Libya's oil production has risen above 760,000 barrels per day (bpd), its highest since December 2014, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement the NOC was working on plans to increase production further. He has previously set a goal of boosting output to 1.1 million bpd by August. The NOC gave no breakdown for the latest production increase, but it is mainly due to the reopening of the major western field of Sharara last week. Sharara was producing more than 200,000 bpd before its operations were halted by pipeline blockades twice in the past two months, causing national output to drop to less than 500,000 bpd. The NOC said on Thursday that...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Libyan naval forces captured two vessels suspected of smuggling oil from the North African country after gun battles lasting several hours west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the service said on Friday. Libyan forces frequently capture vessels smuggling oil and arms off the coast and the North African state has become a haven for migrant smugglers who take advantage of the country's turmoil to ship people across to Europe. Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Libyan naval forces, said Ukraine-flagged tanker Routa and a vessel with an unspecified African nation's flag named Stark were
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, will visit Khartoum on Sunday for talks on the conflict in the North African country, the Sudanese foreign ministry said. Kobler, on his first visit to Sudan, is expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and other senior officials in Khartoum. "He will discuss efforts made by Arab League and African Union to solve the Libyan crisis," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Ghandour will also attend a May 8 conference in Nigeria drawing Libya's neighbours, it said. Libya has fallen into crisis since the 2011 killing of longtime strongman Moamer Kadhafi, with dozens of armed factions battling for control of the oil-rich country. During the rebellion against...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo remembered the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during a two-day state visit to Uganda where he stressed on pan-Africanism. Obiang Nguema told the media at the Ugandan State House in Entebbe on Wednesday that Africa’s problem is due to lack of unity to counter its challenges. “I remember our hero Gaddafi who used to promote this African solidarity but sadly most countries would not still agree with him … The instability Africa is suffering is due to the egoism of each country,” he was quoted by local media Daily Monitor.
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...

Pages