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26 July 2017 14:44 (South Africa)

Libya cashes in on Lockerbie deal

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Recent statements by top British officials and oil giant BP have fuelled speculation that the release of the Lockerbie bomber Mohmed Al Megrahi was intertwined with oil interests in Libya. This follows statements by Libya’s central bank governor that the country, which has Africa's largest proven oil reserves, wants to privatise part of its National Commercial Bank to diversify its economy away from oil. Libya has been seeking private investment since the lifting of Western sanctions related to the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland. BP previously admitted it was worried that a delay in concluding Al Megrahi’s transfer might hurt a R6,6-billion oil deal it signed with the North African state in 2007. Now Libya plans to open bidding to international banks for licences for new banks. What’s the betting British banks make a bid?

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