A "new day" for Libya has been heralded as the nation's stock market reopens for the first time since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.
The Libyan Stock Exchange closed in February last year as opposition forces took to the streets in a series of bloody battles to remove the dictator from his four-decade long reign. Qaddafi was killed on October 20 after being caught by rebels in his home town of Sirte.
The IMF said in January it projected a recovery this year "concurrent with an improvement in the security situation", but said Libya's economy may have contracted by 60 per cent last year as a result of the civil war.
Ali Alashhab, the chief foreign exchange trader at the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli, said he believed yesterday's reopening represented a better future for all Libyans.
"It is a new day for Libya, and an important day for the average people because it is related to a new mentality.
"It means in future people should have better health care, salaries, environment, everything," he said.
"The problem with Libya in the past, under Qaddafi, is everything was run by the state.
"Private placements were forbidden. Now I hope companies will come. Without the private sector there would be no growth in the economy. It takes time but my hope is we are going the right way," said Mr Alashhab.
The exchange is trading in 10 companies valued at US$3.1 billion (Dh11.38bn), Ahmed Karoud, the general manager of the exchange, told newswires.
Mr Alashhab said the reopening of the exchange should also be seen as positive news for those outside Libya.
"I am happy, but even our neighbours should be happy. The regime has changed from bad to good. This will benefit all countries," he said.
The Libyan stock market remains smaller than its neighbours. Egypt's is $65.8bn, the biggest in North Africa.
Average daily trading on the exchange totalled no more than 400,000 Libyan dinars (Dh1.1 million) a day prior to closing last year.
Trading starts at 10.30am local time and lasts 90 minutes for five days a week. The shares are subject to a maximum daily movement of 3 per cent, Mr Karoud told Arabiya TV yesterday.
The exchange signed an agreement last month with the nation's Trade and Development Bank for that entity to become the bourse's clearing bank, the Libyan news agency reported.
Libya is North Africa's biggest oil producer. It has restored 75 percent of pre-war production levels and is pumping about 1.2 million barrels a day, the prime minister, Abdurrahim El Keib, said this month.