• 28 Nov

    Al Hilal Bank sells sukuk on blockchain

    Al Hilal Bank has executed the world's first sukuk transaction using blockchain technology. The Islamic bank leveraged blockchain technology for the resale and settlement of an Islamic sukuk. Blockchain was used to transact a secondary market deal for Al Hilal Bank's $500 million senior sukuk maturing in September 2023.

    Islamic sukuks have been successful and one of the fastest growing asset classes with $97.9 billion worth of sukuks issued in 2017 (representing a 50 per cent increase from 2016).

    Al Hilal Bank's CEO Alex Coelho said it was the first bank to launch a 'Smart Blockchain Islamic Sukuk'. 

    "Once again, the bank has demonstrated that it has the capabilities of leading in the competitive market of Islamic banking. The advantages of using smart contracts range from safer transactions with robust Shariah compliance to the unlocking of new opportunities."

    The initiative is the result of the collaboration of Al Hilal Bank digital transformation team with Jibrel Network, a UAE-based Fintech. The collaboration was made possible thanks to the support of Abu Dhabi Global Markets' (ADGM) Fintech platforms.

    ADGM CEO Richard Teng said: "ADGM is proud to play an instrumental role in fostering an ecosystem for cutting-edge technology providers to collaborate with local financial institutions in delivering value across financial markets. We look forward to supporting Al Hilal Bank and Jibrel in the RegLab to build solutions that will transform the Islamic finance sector."

    Jibrel co-founder Talal Tabbaa, said: "We believe that by combining Jibrel's smart contract solutions with the industry expertise held by Al Hilal Bank's digital transformation team, we will be able to provide Islamic financiers with necessary tools to facilitate Islamic agreements with the same speed, volume and efficiency experienced in conventional finance, and potentially develop new digital asset classes that were previously unimaginable."

    Smart sukuks will provide transactional efficiencies and significantly reduce the bloated overheads associated with issuing and settling Islamic sukuks.


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