Islamic finance body hires new CEO ahead of first issuance


KUALA LUMPUR: The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM), a company backed by central banks located mainly in Asia and the Middle East, appointed on Friday a new chief executive ahead of its first issuance due within the next few months.

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered IILM has delayed its first issuance of short-term sukuk, or Islamic bonds, twice since it began operations last year.

The company, which aims to help sharia-compliant banks manage liquidity and create a liquid cross-border market for Islamic instruments, said that Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim would take over as chief executive, replacing Mahmoud AbuShamma who was hired in February 2011 on a three-year tenure.

Rifaat was the first secretary general for the Islamic Financial Services Board and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, IILM said in a statement.

"Rifaat has an impressive career track record in Islamic finance and will certainly add value to the work of IILM," the chairman of IILM's governing board, Dr Mohamed Y. Al-Hashel, said in the statement.

IILM is set to launch its first sukuk of $300 million to $500 million within the next few months, AbuShamma told Reuters in an interview on Oct 2.

The company has faced a challenge to ensure it complies with laws in all of the 12 countries in which its members operate, AbuShamma said in the interview.

Eventually, IILM will issue sukuk totalling more than $2 billion a year, AbuShamma predicted.

IILM members include monetary authorities in Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as well as the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector. - Reuters

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