ABU DHABI — The Central Bank of the UAE has announced the successful inaugural auction of Shariah-Compliant Certificates of Deposit (ICDs), a move which will allow Islamic lenders to better manage their short term liquidity.
Islamic banks operating in UAE have started participating in the auction of these Certificates for tenors from 1 week to 12 months, the central bank said in an announcement. The inaugural auction was held on Wednesday, 10th November 2010, the bank said. The ICDs, which are based on Murabahah concept, are the first Islamic liquidity management tools issued by the Central Bank of the UAE.
The ICDs enable Islamic banks to better manage their liquidity, on par with conventional banks operating in UAE. These issuances mark an important milestone in the development of Islamic banking in the country. The move has been widely welcomed by Islamic finance industry, as this initiative “will help banks manage liquidity.” Initially, the CDs will be available only to fully Islamic banks and then extended to the Islamic banking units of other commercial banks, a banker said. The Shariah-compliant instrument, on the lines of Islamic Murabahah transaction will suck the excess liquidity in the Islamic money market, a banker said. A banker welcoming the move told Khaleej Times that Islamic banks can invest their surplus liquidity in Shariah-compliant certificates of deposit, which will also offer them financial gains. Earlier, they could only buy the interest bearing certificates of deposit, which is against the principles of Islamic finance, he said.
He said that Islamic banks in the country will be able to effectively manage their short term liquidity positions, which had been a challenge. Malaysia, the world’s biggest market for Islamic bonds, Bahrain and Indonesia sell treasury bills to help soak up cash in the financial system and set benchmarks for short-term bond sales. A Murabahah transaction is a sale and deferred-payment agreement based on an asset in which the cost and profit margin are pre-agreed between a bank and its customer.