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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Key Islamic standard for hedging launched

MANAMA: The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) have launched the ISDA/IIFM Mubadalatul Arbaah (Profit Rate Swap) product standard to be used for Islamic hedging purposes.
The Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) standard follows on from the ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement and provides the industry with a framework for Islamic risk mitigation.
The launch of the Tahawwut Master Agreement as the template for Sharia-compliant risk management was officially announced by Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in March 2010.
"Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) have largely shown resilience in the current difficult financial environment and some are even going through an expansion phase," IIFM chairman and CBB executive director of banking supervision Khalid Hamad said.
"However, due to the inter-linkages with the global financial system, the balance sheet of IFIs are exposed to fluctuation in foreign currency rates and also cash flow mismatches due to fixed and floating reference rates.
"IIFM recognises the importance of this critical segment at an early stage and undertook the challenge of developing global Islamic hedging standards in collaboration with ISDA.
"I am confident that such joint efforts will continue in the future for the benefit of the industry," he said.
"ISDA is pleased to continue its partnership with the IIFM as part of its own on-going efforts and commitment to building safe and efficient OTC hedging markets, across both global and Islamic financial markets" said ISDA chief executive Robert G Pickel.
"The ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut Master Agreement was a major milestone in the development of risk management in Islamic finance and the development of the ISDA/IIFM confirmation templates for Islamic Profit Rate Swaps is a natural step in the evolution and development of the market," he said.
The MA Agreement is a mechanism structured to allow bilateral exchange of profit streams from fixed rate to floating rate or vice-versa.
The documentation provides product schedules based on two separate structures for transacting MA to mitigate cash flow risk.
The MA standard documentation has been developed under the guidance and approval of the IIFM Sharia Advisory Panel, in co-ordination with the external legal counsel Clifford Chance as well as market participants globally.
"The MA Standard has given to the industry access to a robust and well developed product documentation under the Tahawwut Master Agreement to manage cash flow risk for various Islamic Capital Market instruments such as sukuk which has seen increasing number of fixed profit rate issuances in the last few years and as the sukuk market grows, the need for hedging will also increase," said IIFM chief executive Ijlal A Alvi.
"IIFM has taken a lead in preparing Islamic financial product and documentation standards for specific areas of the industry to provide best practices and clarity for sound business activities," said IIFM Sharia head Dr Ahmad Rufai.
(GulfDailyNews / 28 March 2012 )

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Malaysia: Cagamas issues RM500m Islamic bond (sukuk)

Malaysia’s Cagamas Bhd, the country’s mortgage corporation, said today it has issued a multi-tenured RM500 million (US$162.34 million) Islamic bond to widen and diversify its investor base. 

The Cagamas bond is structured under wakala concept that involves the use of an agency agreement in which one firm accepts funds from another to invest on its behalf in a syariah-compliant manner. 

“The uniqueness of the sukuk wakala structure arises from the co-mingling of the debts arising from a commodity murabahah transaction with equity assets constituting an investment portfolio,” Cagamas said in a statement. 

Cagamas said the sukuk wakala, which was issued out of its RM60 billion commercial paper and medium-term note programmes, was priced at yields of 3.35 per cent, 3.50 per cent and 3.70 per cent for one, three and five year tenures respectively. 

AmInvestment Bank Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd were the joint lead managers for the issuance. -- REUTERS

(BusinessTimes / 28 March 2012 )

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