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Libya names 6 banks for Sahra Bank privatization

3. April 2007

Libya names six foreign banks for privatization of Libya's second largest commercial bank

Sahara Bank has total assets of around 2.7 billion euros ($3.61 billion), according to a statement from the Libyan Central Bank.
The company is Libya's second largest commercial bank and is the first to be opened for investment to a foreign investor as the country aims to modernise its financial services sector.The privatisation process will see Libya's Social Economic Development Fund sell a 19 percent stake in Sahara Bank to a strategic partner along with transfer of management control.
The strategic partner will have the right to increase its stake to 51 percent in the medium term."We are extremely satisfied with the quality of the potential strategic partners which showed interest for Sahara Bank," the central bank's governor, Farhat Bengdara, said in a statement."This illustrates the attractiveness of the Libyan banking market and the understanding from the international financial community that the modernisation efforts undertaken so far are the basis for the future growth of the sector," he added.
Libya said the six banks would now enter a period of due diligence and it expected to announce the winner by the end of July 2007.