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SocGen and Libya bribery settlement

Neil Hodge | May 23, 2017

The Libyan Investment Authority’s (LIA) long-running, three-year claim against Société Générale (SocGen) came to an end on the eve of a 14-week trial at the beginning of May, with SocGen agreeing to pay U.S.$1.05bn (€963m) to settle the dispute.

The lawsuit dates back to 2006, when Libya was still under the control of Colonel Gaddafi but was opening up to western investment after years of economic sanctions. The LIA was set up with U.S.$67bn from its oil revenues to invest in the international markets, and western banks and other institutions flocked to Libya to advise its fledgling wealth fund on what trades and investments it should make.

Soon after the fund started, however, it took a hit when the global financial crisis took hold. Furthermore, the LIA had suspicions—which were not totally without foundation—that the firms brought in as advisers were trying to milk it and were taking advantage of the organisation’s inexperience.

The LIA’s...

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