TRIPOLI,(Reuters) – Libya’s stock exchange is to re-open on March 15, just over a year after the country’s conflict forced it to close down, the head of the bourse said on Sunday.
The exchange had previously said it would open at the end of February, but General Manager Ahmed Karoud said that was pushed back because of electricity outages at the bourse and delays in receiving regulatory filings from the listed companies.
The re-launch of the exchange will be a symbol that Libya is open for business again after the conflict that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. It is also likely to attract interest from foreign investors seeking opportunities in the new Libya.
“We will resume trading on the Libyan Stock Market on March 15, after nearly a year and a month of being closed,” Karoud told a news conference.
“The Libyan Stock market will work with a new image,” he said. “For three years there was no investment fund set up in Libya, and there is no presence of foreign investors. In the next phase there will be a diversity in … the Libyan equities market.”
He said the market would re-open with five listed companies, down from the 13 who traded on the bourse before the conflict. He said the reduction was because some of the firms had not yet met the exchange’s regulatory requirements.
In an interview with Reuters last month, Karoud said the board was planning to set up a Sharia-compliant Islamic finance fund. Such funds tend to attract interest from wealthy investors in the Gulf.