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Mon 5 Mar 2012 11:19 AM

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Libyan bourse says it will re-open March 15

Tripoli’s exchange to open a year after it was shut down by unrest

Libyan bourse says it will re-open March 15
The exchange had previously said it would open at the end of February

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 this week.

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 and delays in receiving regulatory filings from listed companies.

The re-launch of the exchange could be interpreted as as sign Libya is open for business again after the conflict that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. It could also attract interest from foreign investors seeking opportunities in post-revolution Libya.

"The Libyan Stock market will work with a new image," Karoud 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.

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