Islamic Money Market: An Instrument for Managing Liquidity Risk in Islamic Banks
Keywords:liquidity risk, liquidity management, Shari'ah-compliance, innovation, new product development and Islamic inter-bank money market
The general consensus of financial experts is that liquidity is the lifeblood of any organisation, which is inclusive of Islamic banks. Hence, effective liquidity management is essential for the efficiency of banking institutions and the economy as a whole. The major provider of liquidity is the short-term money market instruments. Islamic financial institutions just like their conventional counterparts use short-term mobilised deposit funds to finance long-term loans and projects which expose them to asset liability mismatches and thus, are vulnerable to liquidity problems. Addressing the potential liquidity risk due to the cash-flow mismatches requires an efficient and vibrant Islamic money market as it is an essential and integral part of Islamic financial system. It therefore raises the need for developing an Islamic money market where Shari’ah-compliant financial instruments are to be traded and operated based on Shari’ah principles. Although it is considered the surest approach to sound liquidity risk management in Islamic banks, the dilemma that Islamic money markets are facing now is acute shortage of Shari’ah-compliant financial instruments and the controversies surrounding the few available instruments. A successful liquidity risk management therefore requires ensuring well functioning Islamic money markets with some if not all controversies/addressed through embarking on development of new products or promoting innovation in order to enable Islamic banks to compete effectively with their conventional counterparts. Hence, this study attempts to present a better understanding of various Islamic money market instruments, their roles in managing liquidity and their relationship with liquidity risk management.