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Libya Lifts Restrictions on Bank Withdrawals to Boost Confidence

Libya lifted restrictions on withdrawing money from banks in a bid to boost confidence even as the central government struggled to reestablish order months after the death of Muammar Qaddafi.

Central Bank Governor Saddek Omar Elkaber said in a statement in Tripoli today that all indications point “to a strengthening of confidence in the local banking sector.”

Libya, which sits atop Africa’s largest proven crude reserves, faced a sharp liquidity crunch during the violent uprising that pushed Qaddafi from power after roughly 42 years - - a fight that battered its oil sector and sent foreign investors fleeing.

The Central Bank called on Libyans, businessmen and companies to “not hesitate” in depositing their money in the banks to keep it safe and allow its use in “developing the Libyan economy,” the governor said.

Elkaber said a recently approved Islamic banking law will go into effect once it’s published in the official newspapers. The central bank’s deputy governor, Ali Mohamed Salem, said on May 29 that the law will help attract deposits to Shariah-complaint lenders outside the banking system.

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