Facebook’s Libra must obey anti-money laundering rules: French central bank chief

Facebook announced plans last week to introduce a new global cryptocurrency called Libra as part of an effort to expand into digital payments. (Reuters)
Updated 25 June 2019

Facebook’s Libra must obey anti-money laundering rules: French central bank chief

  • Facebook announced plans last week to introduce a new global cryptocurrency
  • Libra is part of Facebook’s effort to expand into digital payments

PARIS: Facebook’s planned global ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency must respect anti-money laundering regulations and it must seek banking licenses if it offers banking services, France’s central bank chief said in a magazine interview.
Facebook announced plans last week to introduce a new global cryptocurrency called Libra as part of an effort to expand into digital payments.
Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that while there was room to improve cross-border money transfers, Libra had to follow anti-money laundering rules.
“The risks are increased by the anonymity that Libra users would have,” Villeroy said in an interview with French weekly magazine L’Obs, adding that Libra would have to ensure transactions and users’ data were fully secure.
“If the project seeks to go beyond payments to offering banking services like deposits, it will then have to be regulated like a bank with a banking license in all the countries it operates. Otherwise it would be illegal,” he said.
France is using its year-long presidency of the Group of Seven nations (G7) to set up a task-force to tackle such concerns at an international level.
It has been charged with studying how cryptocurrencies like Libra are governed by regulations ranging from money laundering laws to consumer-protection rules.


Oman said to mull new regional airline

Updated 52 min 41 sec ago

Oman said to mull new regional airline

DUBAI: Oman is considering setting up a new regional airline that could take over domestic operations from state carrier Oman Air, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A request for proposal was issued this month by state entity Oman Aviation Group for a feasibility study into operating the new airline, “Oman Link,” the sources said.

Setting up a new airline for domestic flights would allow Oman Air to focus on its international network where it competes with large Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways.

The new airline could partner with Oman Air with both carriers connecting passengers to each other but would have its own independent management, the sources said on the condition of anonymity because the details are private.

Proposals are to be submitted by Nov. 11, one of the sources said.

The new airline would use regional jets for domestic flights and potentially later to other cities in the region where there is not enough demand to fill the larger single aisle jets used by other airlines in Oman.

FASTFACT

Oman Air operates flights to four airports in the country, including the main Muscat International.

Oman Aviation Group and its unit Oman Air did not respond to separate emailed requests for comment.

Oman Air operates flights to four airports in the country, including the main Muscat International, according to its website.

The airline uses 166-seat Boeing 737 jets and 71-seat Embraer E175 aircraft on domestic and regional flights.

Both aircraft types are too costly to consistently operate domestic routes at a profit, according to industry sources.

Oman has been restructuring its aviation sector in recent years. Oman Aviation Group was formed in 2018 and includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services.

A budget, second airline, Salam Air, was launched in 2017. It is owned by Omani government pension funds and the Muscat municipality.

Last week, Eithad and Air Arabia said they were jointly setting up a low cost carrier in Abu Dhabi.