HSBC Holdings Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among banks that held funds for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s government investment fund, according to a document published by advocacy group Global Witness.
HSBC held $292.7 million across 10 accounts and Goldman Sachs had almost $44 million in four accounts as of June 30, 2010, according to a document on the Libyan Investment Authority posted on London-based Global Witness’s website. The banks refused to confirm if they hold the funds, the group said.
The Libyan state fund had total assets of $53.3 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2010, according to the report. President Barack Obama appealed yesterday for patience in the effort to remove Qaddafi from power and said the U.S. and its allies are making “enormous progress.”
Connie Ling, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment.
“Our duty of confidentiality means we cannot comment on any individuals or companies, even to confirm or deny they are clients or customers,” Vinh Tran, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for HSBC, said by phone today.
Governments should force banks and investment managers to disclose the state-owned funds they manage, Global Witness said on its website.
“These are the Libyan people’s assets and they have a right to share in them,” Gavin Hayman, a director at Global Witness, said from Hong Kong today. The advocacy group is confident about the authenticity of the document and has independently verified it, he said.
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