Manama – MENA Herald: The pre-conference day of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) will serve as a platform for many initiatives and announcements, including a presentation – exclusive to WIBC – on the outcomes of a liquidity management fund initiative spearheaded by the Central Bank of Sudan. The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, AlGail Mohamed Elbashir, is one of many dignitaries joining the three-day event.

Speaking ahead of the presentation was Dr. Taha Eltayeb Ahmed, CEO of Financial Investment Bank -the fund manager acting on behalf of the Central Bank of Sudan – shared the sheer importance of the initiative not just to Sudan but also to the wider Islamic finance world as Sudan is considered the “epicentre” of authentic Islamic finance. The initiative itself addresses a pressing issue in the Islamic banking industry.

“Liquidity management has been a key risk issue for the Islamic banking industry over the years. The Sharia conceptual framework does not easily allow for the development of short term liquidity management instruments and none of the commonly known Islamic banking instruments are ideal for managing liquidity in a sharia compliant environment,” Dr. Ahmed said.

In 2011, Real Time Gross Payments System (RTGS) was introduced to the financial system in Sudan. There were significant costs for the Central Bank to cover the overdrawn positions of banks. An efficient alternative system was needed. As such, a consortium of organisations – the Central Bank of Sudan, Union of Sudanese Banks and Financial Investment Bank – joined hands to set up open-ended fund, which was officially launched in September 2014.

A former Head of the Islamic Banking Centre at the Bahrain institute of Banking and Finance, Dr. Ahmed continued by sharing that the aim of the fund was to help banks manage their liquidity positions and to enhance the interbank market.

Dr. Ahmed will present at a WIBC roundtable facilitated by Thomson Reuters and Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI) on the 1st of December at 2 pm in Awal Balroom, Gulf Hotel.

The Sudan presentation is particularly timely given that the first international branch of the country’s leading Islamic financial institution – Bank of Khartoum International (BOKI) – is set to officially launch on the sidelines of WIBC on the 2nd of December at a press conference at 11.30 pm in the Gulf Hotel. BOKI received an Islamic Wholesale Bank Branch Licence on 9 November 2015 from the Central Bank of Bahrain, WIBC’s strategic partner for 2 decades.

WIBC 2015 resumes on the 2nd of December, and continues till the 3rd of December. To find out more about WIBC, visit www.wibc2015.com.