Indonesia hopes new hedging rules will attract sharia-compliant investors

Indonesia's central bank has issued a regulation that allows the use of Islamic foreign exchange hedging tools by banks. The regulation, backed by rulings by Indonesia's National Sharia Board, specified that both Islamic and conventional banks can now offer deferred sale of foreign exchange under a muwa'adah scheme, or under a promise from both sides of a transaction. Such a transaction has to have an underlying real need, which could be export and import payments, Islamic bonds transaction in foreign currencies or hajj payments, among others. It will not be tradable and will have to be fully settled upon maturity or cancellation. The new rules will help Islamic banking and sharia-compliant customers to mitigate market risks.