The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has denied charges of favouritism and nepotism in the way it issues letters of credit (L/Cs).

The bank said in a statement that it was impartial in its distribution of L/Cs to traders.

Cornering the market

The CBL is responding to fierce criticism from officials and other Libyans who accuse the bank of favouring certain businessmen.

Critics of the bank claim it issued L/Cs for the importation essential goods only to a select group of traders, thereby allowing them to corner the market in certain sectors.

The traders attended a recent meeting of the Presidential Council at which their status as members of a select group of importers was confirmed the critics say.

Stop L/Cs

This is denied by the CBL, which maintains that the traders who attended the meeting did so simply to explain their experiences of buying foreign goods before the approval of the 2018 import budget.

Meanwhile, the head of the Libyan's Audit Bureau, Khalid Shakshak, has sent a letter to the CBL asking it to stop all L/Cs if the authorities fail to introduce economic reform measures.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.