KARACHI: The government is likely to issue a fresh Shariah-compliant paper, called Sukuk worth over Rs300 billion against the security of Jinnah International Airport Karachi next month to squeeze surplus liquidity from Islamic banks, an official said on Friday.
“The Shariah Board of the State Bank of Pakistan has approved its transaction structure. Three banks, Meezan Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, are the joint financial advisers for the upcoming Sukuk issuance,” Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, head of product development at Meezan Bank, said at the launching ceremony of the Center for Excellence in Islamic Finance at IBA.
The government will also purchase Ijara Sukuk worth Rs215 billion from the Islamic banks on deferred payment basis, Islamic open market operations or (Bait-Muajjal) for one-year to manage liquidity issue of the Islamic banking industry.
The government will also sell these Sukuk on ready payment basis through uniform price-based competitive bidding auction process to facilitate Islamic banking industry in their liquidity management.
The auction for the purchase of Sukuk will be held on November 16.
Siddiqui said that the Ijara Sukuk, amounting Rs233.81 billion are maturing on November 21, as no investment option is available for the Islamic banks to park their surplus funds of around Rs80 to Rs90 billion.
“The government has issued several long-term Sukuks to finance its needs, including private sector Sukuks for corporate / project financing based on Ijarah,” he said. It floated short-term Musharakah based Sukuk for power companies.
Last time, the government issued three-year Ijara Sukuk through an auction held on June 20, 2014. It raised Rs49.537 billion for the construction of Pindi-Bhattian project. The maximum value of the asset under that issue was Rs49.572 billion.
The official said that the work for Islamic discount window, Islamic benchmark and Islamic long-term finance scheme by the central bank is under process.
The SBP has taken several steps like introduction of Islamic Export Refinance, adoption of key Shariah standards as part of the regulations.
It has also introduced three new accounting entries for Islamic modes of financing, he said, adding that both assets and deposits of the Islamic Banking Institutions (IBIs) witnessed increase, as assets reached Rs1.495 trillion in the second quarter of 2015 from Rs1.302 trillion as compared to the first quarter of this year.
Assets of IBIs grew by 14.8 percent as compared to 5.7 percent growth of overall banking industry assets during the second quarter of 2015.
Siddiqui said that the share of IBIs in the overall banking system stand at 12.8 percent.
Earlier, Dr Ishrat Husain, director and chairman of the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance, while addressing a news conference said that there is a need to capitalise Islamic finance.
“Islamic banks should extend loans to SMEs, agriculture and housing sectors,” he said.
Along with investment in government securities (Ijara Sukuk) and deposit mobilisation, the Islamic banks must do something for the common man. They should explore investment opportunities in microfinance and low-cost housing to eliminate poverty from the country, he said.
"Lack of capable human resource and Shariah standardisation laws are the biggest impediments in the growth of Islamic finance in Pakistan, he said.
He announced the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF) at IBA, with the objective to bridge the gap between trained human resource and industry’s growing requirement.
The centre will broadly perform activities such as offering degree programmes in Islamic finance, conduct research and case studies for enhancing and disseminating knowledge in Islamic finance, offers short-term open and customised executive courses for the professionals working in the industry, collaborate with international players to assure introduction of best practices, governance and management.
It will also provide a platform for debate, discussion and discourse on the current issues, the future evolution of Islamic finance.
In line with its objectives, the centre is in advance stages of establishing international collaborations to make it a truly world class centre.