Interest free liquidity management scheme (time-weighted debt units)
International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management
Article publication date: 18 April 2017
This paper aims to develop an instrument that helps in managing liquidity. Liquidity is one of the most critical issues to be considered by the financial management of the business firms to meet its financial obligations. It is more vital for banks because of the liquid nature of its assets and liabilities, along with the fact that the confidence in the bank and degree of risk depends heavily on liquidity as an indicator of its wellbeing. Islamic banks (IBs) look at the liquidity issue from the same side as the traditional banks. IBs – the most apparent Islamic financial institution – suffered from the problem of not benefiting from the lender of last resort that Central Banks (CBs) offer to traditional banks because IBs cannot borrow from the CBs at interest. The experience of Institution(s) offering Islamic Financial Services (IIFS) regarding the establishment of Islamic money markets did not show a tangible success instead of the early studies done by some scholars. In spite of the rich experience of some countries in creating new money market instruments or configuration of the interest-based ones according to Islamic - Sharī’ah, the designs of these instruments have many limitations in terms of their tradability and flexibility, restricting their use for open-market operations by CBs.
The purpose of calculating the time weighted debt units (TWDUs) is to find the equivalent amount of money that the supplier can borrow to the lender in the future for a maturity that differs from the first credit contract. It is a swap between an amount of credit for a particular period of time and another amount for another period. The scheme are called traditionally as reciprocal (mutual) loans, reciprocal (mutual) deposits, swapped conditional loans and “I lend you, provided you lend me” (Hammad, 2010). It is also well known in Pakistan as time multiple counter loan (TMCL), and known within some Arabic IBs as specks (Nomar = numbers) system. This contract will be called the reciprocal loans in the current paper.
The current paper represents a blue print of suggested money market instrument (scheme) that is based on the idea of Al Qardh El Hasan (interest-free loan) – called TWDUs. This instrument does not promise any revenue for the supplier and no charge for the lender.
The suggested model is known in traditional and contemporary writings of Islamic economists and - Sharī’ah scholars. It is accepted by many - Sharī’ah Boards in IBs (Merah, 2011) and was accepted by the Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan in 1980 through the TMCL. Despite that, it is still not discussed in depth by international - Sharī’ah boards as the International Islamic Fiqh Academy – in addition to the wide spread of opponent viewpoint that considers this contract as a kind of riba.
TWDUs is presumed to help IBs and other IIFS to add more flexibility in liquidity management in the side of risk management (represented by the potential loss to IIFS arising from their inability either to meet their obligations or to fund increases in assets as they fall due without incurring unacceptable costs or losses) in addition to avoiding the case of hoarding surplus funds in the short term. Also, the suggested instrument will not be exclusive to IBs or IIFS; it can be developed to be used at a later stage by them as a mean of overdraft between IBs and their clients. Moreover, beside its viability to help in liquidity management for other firms in business sector (non-financial) or government agencies in liquidity management, TWDUs look for Islamic financial theory as an alternative to the traditional financial theory that is based on interest. Moreover, TWDUs is expected to play an important role in monetary policy in a totally Islamic financial system or even in a mixed one (Islamic and capitalistic).
Al Ajlouni, A.T. (2017), "Interest free liquidity management scheme (time-weighted debt units)", International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 60-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMEFM-05-2015-0060
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