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Libya’s State Support Fund for Families Has $4.7 Billion Deficit

Libya’s Economic and Social Development Fund is showing a deficit of $4.7 billion as its revenue from investments declined following the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Qaddafi, Chairman Mahmoud Badi said.

The fund, tasked with providing support to needy families, has yet to receive dividends from most of the companies and projects in which it has investments in Libya, Badi said in an interview yesterday in Tripoli.

“Current average income received from the fund is at $390 million per year while payments amount to $936 million per year,” he said. “We are facing a difficult period.”

The fund is part of the Libyan Investment Authority, the North African nation’s sovereign wealth fund. Badi said the ESDF liquidated most investments abroad at the end of last year, incurring a loss of $450 million. Two portfolios with an original value of $375 million remain in Europe. These are part of the LIA and subject to sanctions. “Their monetary value could be less,” said Badi.

All other ESDF assets are worth about $9 billion to $10 billion and in Libya, according to Badi. ESDF holds shares in Wahda Bank, Sahara Bank, Libyan Gulf First Bank, Libyan Insurance Co, Libyan Tobacco Co. and other industrial companies, he said.

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