Libya - prospects hampered by mixed messages

Despite Libya’s growing internationalisation as being a reasonably stable, tolerate and welcoming environment for investment, a reputation that is bolstered by a variety of customs duties and tax breaks for large projects, some UK investors are not short of criticism about the country’s lack of transparency and at times ambiguous and conflicting announcements from Libya’s key decision and policy makers. These issues, among others, were at times hotly debated at the Middle East Association’s Libya conference held in London on July 23.

ADIH closes US$100mn fund

Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH), in partnership with Al Hilal Bank, announced the successful closing of its shariah-compliant US$100mn Al Wataniya Fund with the objective to finance a development within Abu Dhabi's commercial sector.

BTA hires Lovells as legal advisor

BTA Bank has appointed Lovells to advise the bank on asset recovery. BTA was nationalised in February and at the end of June it announced that its losses under loans issued by former bank’s managers to its affiliates, including financing foreign projects, amounted to KZT1.413bn (US$9.4mn) in 2008.

Addax Petroleum in US$7.2bn takeover

On June 24, Sinopec, a Chinese international petroleum exploration and production company, will take over Addax Petroleum, a Swiss-based international oil and gas explorer with a strategic focus on West Africa and the Middle East, in a US$7.2bn deal.

Gazprom and NNPC set up Nigerian JV

On June 24, as part of the official visit by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to Nigeria, Gazprom and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation signed an agreement on setting up a joint venture on a parity basis.