North Africa’s First Islamic Treasury Bill issuance
Nouakchott, 31st May 2017 – The Central Bank of Mauritania (CBM) announced the debut issuance of its new Sharia compliant instrument.
Islamic banking market in Mauritania has experienced a strong growth over the last few years. The issuance of the new Islamic T-Bill marks a new chapter in the country’s strategy for developing its financial markets.
Abdelaziz Ould Dahi, Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania said: “Islamic Treasury Bill is a flexible instrument that is relatively easier to implement compared to Sukuk that require more complex financial and legal frameworks. The CBM will continue to comprehensively work on the development of Islamic finance. We are all determined to create an attractive environment for Islamic finance in our country to serve our economic and social development objectives.
By issuing the new Islamic T-Bills that will be structured in the early stages on sale of primary commodities, the CBM and the Ministry of Economy & Finance aim to achieve two objectives (i) raise funds for the government treasury and (ii) diversify the liquidity management tools for the banks, whether Islamic or conventional, by making a new instrument available to them for an effective management of their excess liquidity.
The debut issuance was undertaken by the CBM with the technical assistance provided by IFAAS, the international advisory firm specialised in Islamic finance. Farrukh Raza, managing director of IFAAS Group stated: “honoured by the trust and confidence that the CBM has conferred upon us, we remain convinced that this new milestone will be a turning point for Islamic finance in the Maghreb region. The CBM has brought in a new dimension to stimulate the domestic and regional Islamic finance markets”.
The first Islamic T-Bill that has been approved as Sharia compliant by the CBM’s Sharia Supervisory Committee, demonstrating again the ability of Islamic finance to respond to the different financial needs of the markets. The issuance is likely to encourage the neighbouring countries to explore similar opportunities.