Greece Turns to Libya Sovereign Wealth Fund for Help

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010 07:50 AM

 

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Greece is inviting Libya's sovereign wealth fund to help rescue its spluttering economy by investing in energy, real estate and privatization's of state firms, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis said.

Greek officials have been discussing investment opportunities with officials from the Libyan Investment Authority, the oil exporter's $65 billion sovereign wealth fund, Kouvelis told Reuters on a visit to Tripoli.

"We had explained to them what the investment opportunities in Greece are these days," the deputy foreign minister said in an interview late on Tuesday.

"These investment opportunities range from energy to tourism to real estate to also the privatization of public companies. There is quite a lot of discussion about that."

Asked if there were any negotiations about Libya providing loans to Greece, Kouvelis said a $134 billion bailout Athens received from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund meant it did not need additional credit.

"Loans no. We have not discussed any loans. But investments, of course," Kouvelis said.

Greece was forced to seek help to stop it sinking under the weight of its debts but until now its rescuers have been from the developed world, not emerging economies like Libya.

Libya's sovereign wealth fund is emerging as a big player in European equity markets.

While rich country investors have been retrenching in the global slowdown, it has been seeking to pick up cheap assets.

Its investments already include a 4.6 percent stake in Italy's second-biggest bank, Unicredit and a small stake in carmaker Fiat.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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