Currencies by Country:

What is the Libyan dinar (LYD)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.


In 2009 the total GDP was $62,360,446,570 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $9,957. It grew by 2.10% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2005 is 9.99%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 124.90.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Acting Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib, and the head of state is Chairman of the National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil (in a n/a role).

Currency Details

The Libyan dinar is the official currency used in Libya. Denoted by LYD, one Libyan dinar can be divided into 1000 Libyan dirhams. During the time Libya was still a part of the Ottoman Empire, the country used the Ottoman Empire currency, piastres. When Italy started taking over, the lira was introduced. The introduction of the lira sparked the trend of using a different currency for different territories. At one point, the lira, Algerian franc and Egyptian pound were used nationwide. When Libya gained its independence in 1951, the Libyan pound was introduced. In 1971, the Central Bank of Libya introduced the nation’s existing currency: the Libyan dinar. Today, the Bank supervises the banking system and regulates credit. In 1972, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank was established to deal with matters pertaining to overseas investments.

Sovereign Ratings for Libya

Libya is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Libya’s political system is theoretically based on the political philosophy in Moammar Al Qadhafi’s Green Book (a combination of socialist and Islamic theories) yet also rejects parliamentary democracy and political parties. The system of governing in Libya is in theory, Jamahiriya (a state of the masses), which is governed by the populace through local councils. In fact, Libya’s government follows a military dictatorship. Libya’s chief of state is the revolutionary leader Col. Moammar Abu al-Qadhafi. He holds no title but is de facto chief of state. The head of government in Libya is the Secretary of the General People’s Committee Mubarak al-Shamekh. The General People’s Committee also makes up a cabinet that is established by the General People’s Congress. National elections are indirect and go through a hierarchy of people’s committees. Libya’s legislative branch is made up of the unicameral General People’s Congress. The judicial branch of Libya consists of the Supreme Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI (since 1 September 1969); note – holds no official title, but is de facto chief of state Head of Government Secretary of the General People’s Committee (Prime Minister) al-Baghdadi Ali al-MAHMUDI (since 5 March 2006) Cabinet General People’s Committee established by the General People’s Congress Elections national elections are indirect through a hierarchy of people’s committees; head of government elected by the General People’s Congress; election last held March 2010 (next elections expected in early 2011) Election Results NA

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

The Libyan economy is highly dependent on revenues from the oil sector. Oil revenues comprise almost all export earnings and nearly one-quarter of GDP. High oil revenues paired with a small population give Libya one of the highest GDPs per capita in Africa. Little of this income, however, trickles its way down to the lower orders of society. Economic reforms, based on a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international playing field, have been fueled by the lifting of UN and US sanctions. Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy such as applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization.

Agricultural Products:

Wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, beef and eggs.


Petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts and cement.

Import Commodities:

Machinery, transport equipment, food and manufactured goods.

Export Commodities:

Crude oil, refined petroleum products and natural gas.

Major Trading Partners:

Italy, Germany, Tunisia, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Have additions or corrections to this material? Let us know!