Libya bourse resumes trading after year closure


TRIPOLI — Libya’s Stock Exchange resumed trading yesterday after more than 12 months out of action, as the country gets back to business after last year’s conflict ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Officials on the trading floor rang a bell then shouted “Allahu Akbar!” or “God is great!” to announce the start of trading on a bourse which, its backers say, could take off now that it is unshackled from Gaddafi-era restrictions.

“People are scared to come to Libya because they fear all the guns. Today can show them that Libya is going back to normal,” said a visiting businessman from Dubai, who did not want to be identified.

After the 90 minutes allotted for trading each day, the market stood at 1 437,69 points, flat on the level at which it closed in February last year.

The only stock showing any sign of movement on the huge electronic trading screen was Tijara Bank, whose shares rose slightly. However, the volume — 452 shares traded — was not big enough to register any impact on the stock market index.