Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank uses blockchain to sell sukuk in secondary market

The Islamic bank used the distributed ledger technology, best known as the underpinning of crypto-currency Bitcoin. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018
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Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank uses blockchain to sell sukuk in secondary market

  • “Al Hilal Bank is aiming to transform the sukuk market through embracing blockchain and integrating it into their infrastructure, paving the way for innovative digitized Islamic sukuk”
  • Blockchain technology is expected to simplify issuance and trading, and also improve regulatory oversight

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank has executed the world’s first sukuk transaction using blockchain technology, it said on Monday.
The Islamic bank used the distributed ledger technology, best known as the underpinning of crypto-currency Bitcoin, to sell and settle in the secondary market a small portion of its $500 million five-year sukuk, issued in September.
“Al Hilal Bank is aiming to transform the sukuk market through embracing blockchain and integrating it into their infrastructure, paving the way for innovative digitized Islamic sukuk,” it said.
A bank spokeswoman said the size of the deal was $1 million, sold by Al Hilal to a private investor.
Applied to capital raising exercises, blockchain technology is expected to simplify issuance and trading, and also improve regulatory oversight.
The World Bank issued in August the world’s first public bond using only blockchain.
Jibrel Network, a Switzerland-headquartered fintech company with offices in Dubai, was involved in the transaction.


China-US trade talks ‘making a final sprint’ — state media

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, look on before proceeding to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China February 15, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 16 February 2019
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China-US trade talks ‘making a final sprint’ — state media

  • US duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if there is no deal by March 1 to address US demands

SHANGHAI: Chinese state media on Saturday expressed cautious optimism over trade talks between the United States and China, a day after President Xi Jinping said a week of discussions had produced “step-by-step” progress.
Xi made the comments at a meeting on Friday with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing, after a week of senior- and deputy-level talks.
The People’s Daily, the official paper of the ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary that Xi’s meeting with US negotiators had affirmed progress made in previous talks and “injected new impetus into the next stage of the development of Sino-US trade relations.”
The talks “have made important progress” for the next round of negotiations in Washington next week, the paper said in its domestic edition.
“It is hoped that the two sides will maintain the good momentum of the current consultations and strive to reach an agreement within the set time limit,” it said.
US duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if there is no deal by March 1 to address US demands that China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.
In its overseas edition, the People’s Daily said “zero-sum thinking and games where you lose and I win can only create losses for both. Only on a basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, through dialogue and consultation, can we find a solution acceptable to both sides.”
An English-language editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily, said news that China had consulted on the text of a memorandum of understanding “shows the two sides have made unprecedented progress.”
“The MOU and next week’s talks both show that the seemingly endless China-US trade negotiations, like a marathon, are making a final sprint,” it said.
The newspapers cautioned that any agreement would have to be in the interests of both the United States and China.
“There are still obstacles to be overcome, and no one should underestimate how daunting a task the two sides face trying to resolve all the differences that have long existed between them in one clean sweep,” the official English-language China Daily said in an editorial.