Liban : Il va falloir encore attendre pour connaitre la formation du nouveau gouvernement
Agence Ecofin
Tuesday 13 June 2023 Last update on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 At 12:08 PM

The Bretton Woods institution believes this will improve banking in the country, while enabling it to transition to effective Islamic finance.

The International Monetary Fund has recommended that commercial banks operating in Libya should once again be allowed to charge interest rates on loans granted to their customers, as they cannot make a full transition to Islamic finance and the supply of financial products. Islamic, after ten years of process.

Authorities should either allow the coexistence of conventional and Islamic banks or lay out a roadmap for banks to fully embrace Islamic finance and develop Sharia-compliant lending products. An exit plan should be agreed with banks that are unable to convert in order to allocate resources to banks able to provide financing,” the document reads.

The IMF supports its recommendation by pointing out that the ratio of loans to the economy to GDP has remained the same since 2014, which means that the legalization of Islamic finance has not been enough to stimulate banking activity in a country. which has yet to find solid political fundamentals after years of socialism under the Gaddafi era and endless conflicts after his disappearance.

Indeed, Libya currently has 20 banks with a combined total of around 143 billion Libyan dinars ($30 billion) in assets. However, loans and credit facilities represent less than 15% of banking sector assets, with the majority being balances held at the Central Bank of Libya (BCL). The credit to GDP ratio was only 12% in 2022, reflecting the difficulties facing the Libyan banking sector.

A board of qualified scholars of Islamic laws must approve products before they are offered by an Islamic bank. However, this Islamic advice is generally not responsible for the structuring of the products”, specifies the IMF, which also suggests that the staff of the banks must acquire the necessary skills to develop Islamic finance products that meet the needs of the customers and are likely to obtain the required approvals.

One of the challenges identified with the current system is that after the interest rate practice was abolished, the Central Bank did not provide a framework to meet short-term liquidity needs. Banks were forced to place their excess liquidity in the coffers of the BCL, which explains, according to the IMF, why the credit market has stagnated.

The institution has recognized its shortcomings. It therefore wishes to introduce “better” standards and has requested technical support from the International Monetary Fund.

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