High Quality Liquid Sukūk: Relevance, Practice, and Empirical Research in the Context of Rising Global Interest Rates

Abdullah Karatas


Liquidity management has always been a major issue in Islamic banking. In the early years of the industry, a major problem was a general tendency toward excess liquidity. In the future, the main issue in the context of depressed oil prices, a rising global interest-rate environment, and a tightened regulatory landscape under Basel III is likely to be a relative scarcity of high quality liquid assets (HQLA), or high quality liquid sukūk (Note 1). The incoming U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has already indicated that the Trump administration’s plans could rapidly turbocharge the U.S. economy, thereby altering the prevailing low-interest rate dynamic at the U.S. Federal Reserve (“U.S. Fed”), leading many to anticipate higher interest rates (Wigglesworth & Moore, 2016).

Among the available liquidity management instruments in Islamic banking, only sukūk of a particular type meet the requirements of HQLA (in principle) as defined by the Basel Committee and adapted for Islamic finance by the IFSB (Islamic Financial Services Board). Candidates for HQLA are only international sukūk, i.e. sukūk that are issued in an international currency, listed, and traded not only locally but also internationally. Sovereigns and international institutions such as the IDB have issued almost all sukūk of this caliber. In this paper, we will make empirically informed qualitative projections on the outlook for HQL (high quality liquid) sukūk in the context of a rising global interest-rate environment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/aef.v4i2.2046


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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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